I can probably tell you a million things about how hard it is to live with a mental illness.

I could probably tell you a million more things about how good it feels to have it under control. Today, I want to celebrate those people who have finally found a happy medium.It took me four or five years to finally find something that worked for me. I want to mention a few things that have happened in these four or five years. I attempted suicide twice, failed miserably. I can’t count on one hand the different medications I have tried. I had to search myself to find a diagnosis that is now finally on paper.

My ignorance toward my mental illness briefly changed me into someone I didn’t want to be.

These last few years, I’ve drank excessively, I’ve experimented with drugs, spent $3500 dollars in savings bonds, and totaled a car I had for five days. Granted, that accident wasn’t my fault. Drugs and alcohol weren’t involved. In fact, I was 5 miles from home, and the dude was speeding out of a grocery store parking lot. This marks the beginning of a light that has been shed over my thoughts, my being, and my wellness since that day. I was unscathed, even though I was hit on the driver’s side by this man who had to be going at least 45 miles an hour. The officers said I should’ve died, they held a prayer circle at the accident scene with a local preacher.

But I was fine.

Fast forward  exactly a month, where I am at the doctor’s office to refill some medication. I wasn’t on birth control, the doctor ordered a drug test, and there it was. Not a moment of clarity, but a moment of panic. I was pregnant, I lived with my parents, and I  and for ten plus months, I was a raging, hormonal, borderline-personality, manic depressive pregnant woman. Otherwise known as a nightmare. So, I gave birth to my son, and I want to let you know that the ‘baby blues’ are sweets words for such a nasty thing. I struggled, and struggled, and struggled, and I couldn’t breastfeed my son because the stress and tension it caused made me manic. I was throwing things, I was sobbing, screaming and out of control.

I broke down in the doctor’s office one day, and this begins another cycle of psychiatrists, therapists and treatment plans that were surely to fall through.

I began practicing meditation, exercise, and started to fully commit myself to this new medication. I promised to not throw it out five days after taking it when I didn’t feel a difference. Every night before bed, I swallowed that little pill, and two weeks later, I lived in a happier home. By committing myself to my health first, I made myself a better person.

My bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in treatment since you were ten years old. If that medicine isn’t working, tell your psychiatrist. It’s fine if you change it twelve times or it takes five years, but you have feel better. There is a way to wake up without wanting to go back to sleep. It’s possible to walk into that crowded room, and not have to run back out. It’s okay to send a text and not have a mental breakdown when you don’t get a response. You will be able to enjoy the silence of being alone. I encourage you to get out there, exercise for thirty minutes a day. Eat a bowl of fruit for breakfast, and make your bed before you go to work. Spend a Friday or a Saturday at home, and laugh with whoever is there with you. I encourage you to keep trying, until you find what works for you.

That medication is nothing more than something to help you. It is not who you are. That orange bottle sitting in your bathroom drawer is not your life.

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  1. Kristen Frank - shinebright4u

    Wow! I’m so proud of you. Life is so hard and taking control and realizing you need help or fighting against what’s not working for you is admirable. I too have had a struggle with depression and sometimes manic episodes and I can see it in others in my family. I’m the only one that continues to pursue my health or even recognizes there is a problem. That accident was a definite sign for you. You are meant to be here, be happy and enlighten others with your wise words and experiences.

  2. thentherestwo.com

    I have dealt with depression most of my life as well as postpartum depression. The meds have never really helped me, but you’re right, you have to keep trying and find what works; and I believe it can be a combination of things ie meds/exercise/etc… Everyone is unique. It’s not a one shoe fits all. Good post. Thanks for sharing!