Not long after, when I was 15, we moved to Germany. I wanted to come home, and my dad was in the Psych ward at the VA. I took it upon myself to take care of my father. He was always terrified that the mafia was after him and I didn’t really know how to handle it. So what I did, I closed the blinds and reassured him that he was safe at home.
Things weren’t always that easy. I had to call the police a few times because he had become so unstable he couldn’t take care of himself. All of this at the age of 16. I had no help from the rest of my family, it was just me.
I thought when he got married my worries were gone. But my mental illness had started to surface. So at the age of 17, I was diagnosed with Depression and later admitted myself into a local hospital. This happened a few times.
Around the age of 19, I came home and found my sister unconscious on the bedroom floor. I thought I had trained myself on how to react, but you lose everything when you see that.. She was barely breathing and the paramedics wouldn’t take her to my hospital of choice because she wasn’t stable enough. She was in the ICU for 3 days, 24/7 monitoring. I watched her struggle through one of the most horrifying things. She doesn’t know why she did it. We won’t ever know why.
That is when I became an advocate. A lot of people think that mental illness is just an excuse. It’s not. It’s real. As real as any physical disorder that you can see. I started to read about my fathers illness and started allowing strangers to talk to me.
Not long after all that, my Uncle died after a short explosive bout of Cancer. My world crumbled down on me. I had to be re-hospitalized and was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, MDD, GAD and Bipolar Disorder NOS. I was put on medication and fought like hell to make it through from day to day.
Finally I found a friend. She was amazing, she helped me understand more of what mental illness is capable of. But in March of this year, March 14, she ended her life. Since then, I have been devoting my time and the little energy I have to show people that they are not alone. They have people they can talk to, we will listen. None of us are alone in this fight. As long as we fight together we can break this stigma.
So here I am. Telling you just a portion of my story. I hope that if anyone ever needs anything that they won’t be too afraid to speak up. I have not been in everyones situation but I will be there for YOU.
I am creating this page as a place for support. Those hurting from Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Borderline, and any other “illness”
We are not our illness. Our illness does not define us. We are who we want to be. Who we set out to be. Make a positive impact, keep the negativity at bay. Sometimes you’ll have to fight. I know I do, I struggle. But I want this page to blossom, so I can create a group that can be held with confidentiality.