Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Living with an invisible illness

This isn't something I talk about often, but along with my mental health struggles, I am also living with endometriosis. I hide it the best I can, but I am in constant pain. It wraps around to my back and down my legs most days and because of my psych prescriptions all I can take is tylenol and ibuprofen. Sometimes this helps, most of the time I'm curled up on the couch near tears.

I try not to complain, but I am constantly turning down opportunities to do fun activities with the kids. I am currently sitting here, unable to get comfortable, wondering why the universe has made me push my hysterectomy twice, with no date in sight. I just want the pain to end, but I still have to manage.

I can tell you that this has taken a large toll on my mental health. I often feel useless and like I am a burden. I feel unable to give my kids the life they deserve. I feel unable to explain why I can't go to the park. I feel worthless.

Then I think about what I have already gone through. What I've put my family through. I think about the fact that I can't go to bed early without my kids crying for me. I think about how miraculous it is that I've been blessed with three kiddos when endometriosis can make conceiving so hard. And I realize, I'm worth it. The pain may be excruciating. It may seem like the more gruesome symptoms may never stop. And some days it may be impossible to even stand without crumbling into a seemingly useless pile on the floor, knowing that I need to get up and put on a brave face so I can pick up my kids from school. But I make it work.

I may have to sit more at the park. I may have to turn on Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol to survive the evening alone with my kids. I may complain to my husband until his ears fall off. But I'm here, and I'm worth it.

If you are struggling mentally or physically, know that I am here. I will listen to you and I will love you. Because you are worth so much more than you know.
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Monday, September 10, 2018

The Silent Killer

Suicide is a silent killer. It is a direct result of feeling depressed and empty. Like there is nothing to live for. Of looking at those who love you and feeling nothing. Of thinking "everyone deserves better" or "no one will miss me."

I've felt all of these things. My mental health has been so out of control that I put my family through attempted suicide after attempted suicide. I would go to a mental health facility, get out and try again. I didn't want to be here. At my lowest, I felt absolutely nothing. No sadness, no anger, nothing. I was empty. I was no longer "me." At my best, I could hide my feelings and seem "normal" until no one was watching, and then I'd try again. 

People don't seem to realize that those who commit suicide are so often hiding behind a smile. It's not always hitting rock bottom and being unable to hide the struggles. It can be people who go out and laugh with friends, then go home and take their lives because they can no longer handle the pain that they've worked so hard to hide.

And let me tell you, hiding pain is exhausting. It drains you mentally and emotionally. It makes you fall deeper into depression. It kills you.

I am lucky to be alive. I am lucky that the only side effects of my attempts are some memory loss and the pain in my heart. I don't remember a lot of that awful time. My family does. I've scarred them for life, but I'm here now. I'm ok. I have good days and bad days, but I now have coping skills. I am able to recognize when I am slipping and am able to reach out for help. I didn't have that before, but the help I received has saved my life a hundred times over.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you are struggling - whether it's being unable to leave the house or hiding behind a smile, please reach out. Tell your friend, tell your doctor, call the hotline below. Do something to get help. You are loved and you are worth it. You can get out and live a better life. There IS light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can't see it yet.

If you are struggling, please call the national suicide hotline at 1 800-273-8255 or go to your local ER who will get you the help you need, because YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT.

Keep fighting, friends.
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Have questions, comments or just want to connect? Email me here or head on over to the community on my Facebook Page