An Unwelcome Itch – a poem

Mental illness is a bitch

that leaves an unwelcome itch

I cant scratch away.

Believe me. I’ve tried all day.

Can’t remove this crud

that entered like mud

after Hurricane Fred

entered inside my head

and very soon spread,

multiplied and bled

throughout my insides.

Been swept away by the tides

of depression and anxiety,

maybe triggered by PTSD.

Who knows. Doesn’t matter

as long as I don’t splatter

and get any fatter

by eating from the platter

of anger and disgust.

Piss me off in the dust.

Come back coping strategies.

Do your healing thing, please,

before it’s too late

and love becomes hate

and I deteriorate

inside my crate of fate

which lingers and looms

above the darkest of glooms

and deciduous tombs.

Help me. I cry.

Like a sty in my eye,

you are unwelcome here.

Your presence I fear,

quick departure I cheer.

Oh, I pray it’s near.

Ready to be free of this mental illness bug

Such a cruel, heartless, destructive thug.

Why me?

Why not me?

Just flee out of me.

Mental illness let me be.

I’ve had more than enough

of your disgusting stuff.

I’m tired

and wired

like a barbed wire fence

poking me and hence

the discomfort and pain.

No wonder I’m stained.

~written by Susan Walz

© 2020 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

My mother.

With the news of James’ mom’s recent passing, I find myself reflecting on my own parent/child relationship. How lucky am I to have her, and how much I feel for James. Please consider donating here to his family’s gofundme to help with expenses. I know that this place that he has created has helped me immensely. It has done more for me than I can put into words and I hope that we can open our arms to be a comfort in return.

______________________

I have always had an incredibly tumultuous relationship with my mother growing up. I know now that I was a bit unpredictable to say the least and with reason. What I didn’t know is how much of a comfort she would be to me now.

My mom is disabled and she lives with me. I am just on the cusp of 30 (HELP!) and many people who hear this picture an elderly woman who can’t feed or bathe herself. They look at me with sad eyes and apologize. They provide niceties about how “you shouldn’t have to take that on!”. The truth is she takes care of me. Yes, I end up grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and the occasional bathing when she is really hurting. But she does a lot for me too. We can start with the obvious: She hasn’t killed me.

I was, in all honesty, a mean little bitch. I told her I hated her, stole from her, lied, and had even hit her once growing up. I wasn’t some pot smoking, partying, rebellious teenager. I was just, bipolar. It is kinda funny now, but it really isn’t at all. I was so “moody” as we had thought that my mom wanted to send me away to a camp in an attempt to reform me. I was even more manipulative. She took me to a specialist on numerous occasions to be evaluated. The mental illness is heavy in this family. My devious ass saw right through their questions and lied my way home. Things only got better when I acknowledged I had a problem and sought out help. I only got better then.

That woman is a saint. In a few short weeks she will be 50. She had me young and endured more than she should have. She put up with me and sometimes had to keep me at a distance. So yes, I take care of her. I pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, fetch her medications, and at times I bathe her.

But she is still doing more for me. She still puts up with my sudden mood changes. The volatile sport that is Bailey. She bites her tongue when I tell her I am having an “off day” as I have grown to call manic episodes. She helps me monitor my spending during this time so I can stay on the right track. My mom stays up with me when insomnia strikes and we binge watch Netflix and crack jokes. She sets her alarm, but has no reason to get up early. It is for me. One time they raised the dose of my Seroquel and slept through three alarms and multiple calls from my boss. She keeps me accountable.

She stays on the phone with me when I choose to move 1000 miles away on a whim. When I left her with my grandmother to care for her. When I am sobbing because I am off my medication and afraid of myself. She doesn’t push me to get back into life when I move back home. She doesn’t comment on the amount of time that I have gone without combing my hair or showering. Instead, she waits for me to be ready and offers to help me sort it out.

I am so grateful for my mother. I am grateful that I have her. I am grateful for the things she does for me. I am grateful for the way she has loved me in spite of the way I have behaved.

I have no idea how it feels to lose a mom. The closest I have come is to emotionally feel like I have lost her as a teenager when she had to love me from a distance. I know now that when we speak about that period of time, we both weep. I especially am brought to tears when she tells me how hard it was to not be there, to not communicate. I know that when she is gone from this Earth, it will hurt like hell. Life will never be the same. I will have to remind myself of her words and how her heart aches when she is away from me as well, that she did not abandon me.

All of this to say that we are so lucky to have people in our lives that support us through….well, us being us. It isn’t easy to see past the terrible parts of mental illness. It is all risk and no reward. My heart absolutely goes out to James and the others that find themselves one less ally, friend, parent, sibling, or other relative to walk through life with. I hope that you know that you meant the world to them. I can say that with full confidence. You have to love someone more than a lot to stick through it.

 

 

 

 

Leading by Example

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It was pointed out to me recently that this blog runs best when I am active as a writer and participant. Lead by example, and there is some truth to that statement.

I will admit that over the last few months with my novel writing, my graduate work, my freelance work, and getting my memoir published took up all my time. I thought that this blog was functioning well enough that I could take a step back, and it worked for a while. Still, over November 2019, we had the lowest number of articles published on this blog, nine. Even in this blog’s infancy, the first full month of this blog saw twenty-three articles written by me.

This blog, when it was in its highest peak, turned out eighty articles in a single month and saw an average of sixty articles a month. I would write a few blog posts a week myself, and of course, my fantastic ensemble of contributor writers added so much depth in the area of mental health advocacy and sharing mental illness stories.

My point is things have to change, and it starts with me. I want to end the decade for the Bipolar Writer Collaborative Blog to end on a high note and begin the new year and the new decade on the right note. I will be making an effort to write at least two blog posts a week. There are so many topics that need to be talked about again.

For my current contributors I would challenge each and every one of you to share an update or a new blog post that talks about the new challenges or even old challenges surrounding your mental illness/mental health. Let’s continue to do what we all set out to do on this blog, end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

For my current contributors, I would challenge each and every one of you to share an update or a new blog post that talks about the unique challenges or even old challenges surrounding your mental illness/mental health. Let’s continue to do what we all set out to do on this blog, end the stigma surrounding mental illness. This blog is not just my legacy, but also yours.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

The other part of this blog post is an open invitation to new contributors that want to add their voice to this blog. If you want to be a part of this fantastic and safe place for mental illness/mental health advocacy, then please contact me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com. I am open to allowing an increase of new vices and ideas. One thing I have learned on this journey is that everyone has a story.

This month I will be updating my followers on some new and exciting projects for 2020 that includes a new book idea and a podcast. With that said, always remember to stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

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10 Things The Bipolar Learned This Decade PT. 1

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This will be a series that will run during the month of December 2019 as we head into the New Year. This is part one.

What a decade it has been for me. At the beginning of the decade I was severely depressed and suicidal. 2010 was the year of my last suicide and the year I decided that my life was going to change. Here are somethings that I learned about myself and the wisdom that came from my experiences.

  1. I am a stronger person than I ever gave myself credit. At the beginning of this decade, I almost died in my last suicide attempt, My doctors basically said it was a coin flip that I would live. Yet, here I am alive, active, and always working on my mental health.
  2. This mental illness life is messy, and that is okay. I have been through many depression cycles over the last ten years. Some have lasted for months and some for days or weeks. It can be messy, but I always come out stronger in the end.
  3. It’s okay to not be okay. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way, but the truth is everyone learns it in this mental illness life.
  4. Antidepressants are not for me. In 2018 I got off antidepressants after changing them at least twice a year since 2007. I really believe that I am better off without them as my depression cycles are slowly becoming less controlling as I fight it on my own.
  5. Take a mental health day at least once a week. I learned this lesson also the hard way. It is possible to overwhelm yourself in this life, that is the truth of it. I am famous for overworking myself because I feel the years I lost, I have to make up for by working too much. Life is too short. Enjoy it. Travel. Plan things. Do things. It is easy to get into the habit of isolating yourself from society. I know I have done it and still do when my anxiety is high.
  6. Life is too short! Don’t get bogged down in the ways your mental illness is keeping you from living. You will drive yourself crazy with anxiety with this line of thinking.
  7. Change does not happen overnight. It took me years to get to a point where I could go back to school. I had to relearn to be human again with a mental illness. I wanted things to change so bad fast that I set myself back a few times before I got myself together. Take the good with the bad with your mental illness.
  8. There is always hope on the other side. It sounds cliche, I know, but there is so much wisdom in the idea that there is hope on the other side. I am living proof. I wanted to die, and now I am a published author, and I am a graduate student. Life will come back to you even when it feels hopeless.
  9. Anxiety can take over your life. If you let it, anxiety can take you to as dark of places as depression. You make the choices in life.
  10. Never be afraid to tell your story…even if it is eventually down the road. It took me years to be ready to write my experiences on this blog and in my memoir. If you can, share your experience. You might save a life.

I hope this helps shed some light over my last decade. Besides these lists I will be writing daily about things that I have learned and maybe expand on the ideas in this list. As always, stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

P.S. If you have time, please purchase my book. You can find it on Amazon by looking up my pen name James Edgar Skye. The name of the book is The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir. It is available in print and Kindle edition. Thank you for your support. I will also link my Amazon page below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/jamesedgarskye

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The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir – Book Release on Amazon

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir by James Edgar Skye

The day has finally come, the publishing of my memoir. It is called The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir, and it is now available on Amazon both in print and in Kindle Edition.

This journey to share my experiences as a diagnosed Bipolar writer started here in 2017, with the creation of this blog. It was the fantastic people I met, who were willing to accept my story and share their own, that prompted me to write my memoir. I worked tirelessly for a year, coming up with ideas, the direction the memoir would go, its overall design, and, eventually, the completion of a first draft.

After its completion, I didn’t know if it would ever be seen by others. I considered self-publishing, and I was well on my way down that route when I found Eliezer Tristan Publishing. Together they helped me become a published writer. This memoir meant a lot to me, and to finally see its completion, it a life-long dream realized.

You will find within its pages my story not written in linear form but rather in chapters of different thoughts, ideas, and parts of my life. You can go to any chapter and read it, and it will be enlightening. You can read it straight through and still learn about my experience with a mental illness.

You will find the link to my Amazon author page throughout this post where you can purchase my book. It would be an honor. If you can, please share this blog post on your own blog, not just for me, but so that together, we can share one experience in mental health in hopes of helping others and ending the stigma. Thank you, everyone, who has been waiting patiently for the release of this book. Much love,

James Edgar Skye

Always Keep Fighting

The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir by J,E, Skye

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. While it’s great there’s a month dedicated to this, it should be 365-day year awareness.

I understand suicide can be a touchy subject especially for those who have struggled with it themselves or have lost a loved one to it.

I wanted to share my personal story with suicide because that was something I struggled with for a long time.

I was 14 years old when I started getting suicidal thoughts. I was in high school and was completely miserable. I was living in an abusive household suffering abuse from my mom on a daily basis. It was physical, verbal, & psychological abuse. Living in such a toxic environment and experiencing that abuse on a regular basis caused me to go into a severe depression.

I would spend hours locked in my room crying myself to sleep. I would always question God asking him “why me?”

“Why was this happening to me?”

“Why did I have to get a mom who treated me so terribly?”

It wasn’t much longer when I started to get suicidal thoughts on a regular basis.

My mom told me so many lies on a regular basis that it was hard for me to not believe them. She convinced me I was a burden to others & that I shouldn’t be on this earth. She told me things that no child or person should ever here. She told me she wished I were never born and that she wished she had me aborted when she had the chance. These are things I wish I could say never happened, but those were all lies she told me.

My thoughts started to become more negative and darker as the days went on. I started to lose feelings of happiness and forgot what happiness felt like. I started to feel numb & empty on the inside not feeling any emotions but sadness. I started to cope with self-harm when I was 14 years old. I believed it was the only way for me to feel something besides emptiness & sadness so I turned to self-harm.

That’s when the suicidal thoughts started to creep in and became more frequent. I started to believe the lies my mom and my depression told me. I believed I was a burden to others and that the world would be a better place without me in it. I wanted out of the world so bad that I came up with a plan when I was 15 years old to end my life. I had been prescribed pain medication from a dentist visit when I had to get a root canal and researched that medication and found that if I took all of the pills in the bottle I could never wake up again. That was my plan.

It was like playing tug o war in my mind though, there was that part of me that believed I was a burden and that I should just leave the world now, but there was another part of me that wanted to keep fighting. It told me to keep pushing through that those negative thoughts were lies and I could beat them.

I confided in my high school’s guidance counselor and he helped me push through the suicidal thoughts. I didn’t seek out treatment for my depression at the time even though I should have. Throughout high school I still struggled with depression and being active in sports helped me manage it.

After high school and when I went away to University the suicidal thoughts started to creep in again. I thought it was just homesickness since I was going to school on the other side of the country, but it was much deeper than that for me.

It was the summer of 2014 when I was home from University that I sought out treatment for my depression. I struggled with an alcohol addiction and one day when I had way too much to drink I couldn’t control the suicidal thoughts. I knew that if I didn’t seek out help that night, I would have harmed myself and may not be alive today. I had my best friend’s boyfriend drive me to the mental hospital and drop me off. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this and I told him yes I knew if I didn’t get help I was only going to get worse.

I spent three days in the crisis unit of the mental hospital. I was put on Zoloft and anxiety medication that helped ease my anxiety while I was there. I wish I could say going on Zoloft helped with my depression, but it actually made things worse for me. At the time I was diagnosed with depression and didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. When I was on Zoloft I felt like a zombie I was so out of it and numb, I hated it. I didn’t realize that for those who have bipolar disorder, anti-depressants could cause you to go into mania, which it did for me.

When I was back at University that semester I was a wreck. I was in and out of depressive episodes along with being in manic episodes. My alcohol problem was out of control and my behavior was reckless. I was failing all of my classes and was drinking on a daily basis. I started to struggle with self-harm again and the suicidal thoughts again. I knew that if I didn’t leave University and get myself out of that environment things were only going to get worse for me. That’s when I withdrew from University and moved back home to Florida.

I wish I could say everything got better for me when I got back home to Florida, but my depression grew worse. The psychiatrist I was seeing was no help at all to me and didn’t listen to my problems. He didn’t care to give me a proper psych evaluation and just wrote me a script for the next anti-depressant out there. I continued to struggle with self-harm and battled the suicidal thoughts daily.

I was empty & numb living in an endless cycle of my depression.

It wasn’t until the end of 2016 when I finally found a psychiatrist who gave me a proper psych evaluation and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Getting on the proper medication and changing my lifestyle to healthier habits, put an end to the suicidal thoughts. It was like the fog had finally been lifted and I could see clearly again. I started to see a therapist for a few months as well that helped me work through some of the issues from my past.

I’m happy to say that I am stable now and have not harmed myself in over three years now. I still find myself going into depressive episodes every now and then and will catch the suicidal thoughts creeping into my mind. I’ve become a lot stronger than I was three years ago and can fight off the thoughts much better than before.

I know living with a mental illness will be a life long battle for me. I’ve spent over ten years now fighting the demons and while it can be exhausting, I know I will survive the fight.

For those of you that have experienced something similar or going through a tough time please never hesitate to seek out help. There are so many resources available out there today and remember you are not a burden to others. Your life matters and you are never alone in this fight.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

My Healing Journey

At the beginning of the year my number one goal was for me to work on healing myself from the inside out. I had put my own inner healing on hold for a long time. I had pushed down the most painful memories of my childhood in hopes I would never have to think about them again. Over these last eight months more and more old wounds have been resurfacing. Old wounds that I forgot were even there were resurfacing. This was finally my time to work on healing myself.

 

I grew up in an abusive household facing abuse from my mother on a daily basis. I suffered from this abuse from a very young age up until my early adulthood. I suffered from physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. The most damaging towards me was the psychological abuse.

 

Growing up I always knew there was something “off” about my mom because of the way she treated me. I was the oldest child and I guess my mom figured she could take out all her aggression on me. My brother was extremely lucky because my mom treated him completely opposite of how she treated me.

 

A month ago I read a book about healing from Narcissistic abuse. It opened up my eyes to what narcissistic abuse is all about and it confirmed for me that it was the abuse I suffered from growing up. It confirmed my theory that my mom was a narcissist and the symptoms & actions described fit my mom perfectly.

 

My entire life I could never fully be myself. My mom was the one who called all of the shots during my childhood. It didn’t matter what I wanted to do, if she didn’t like it then I couldn’t do it. It was like my mom was trying to live out her life through me. I wanted to play piano and my mom hated that, she threw away my piano books because she didn’t want me to play it. I wanted to do gymnastics, but she told me no & convinced me that I was never good enough to do it in the first place. She hated me having friends and never let me hang out with my friends. This occurred throughout my entire childhood.

 

She terrorized me, manipulated me, and controlled me my entire life. This book opened up my eyes to how abusive a narcissist can be and how evil they can be.

My mom caused me immense pain growing up. She told me things no child or person should ever have to hear especially from your own mother. I was screamed at so many times. She told me lies like that she didn’t want me born, she wished she aborted me when she had the chance, no one in my family likes me, I’m a burden, I have no friends, I’m fat, I’m not pretty, and I’m not good enough. She RARELY told me she loved me & meant it.

 

Now that I’ve reached adulthood and have started my own healing, I feel like I’m starting to find myself all over again. My mom never let me express who I was so I was always fitting into the mold she wanted. I finally feel like I’m starting to find my own identity and who I truly am as a person.

 

At first I felt like I was going through an identity crisis because I didn’t know who I was as a person at first. It’s forced me to dig deep inwards to get in touch with my true authentic self. I’m still learning who I truly am on a daily basis. I’m starting to finally feel free again since I no longer have to conform to what she had led me to believe my entire life.

My Story’s the Opposite of EVERYTHING We’ve Been Taught About Mental Illness

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

One year, six months and eight days ago I was in the worst state I have ever been in during my over twenty-seven years of living with mental illness. I was severely suicidal and had been for many days and months in a row and was experiencing an elated mania mixed episode.

One year, six months and eight days ago I attempted suicide and thought I was leaving earth forever. I strongly wanted to and was ready. I faced the reality of what death meant and I was there…

Those were scary and heartbreaking words to write especially because…

today I am beyond blessed to be alive and I feel better and happier than I ever have in my life. I feel inner joy, a peaceful spirit and a mental wellness I don’t think I ever felt before…

My suicide attempt was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to go off Klonopin, a Benzodiazepine, the only psychotropic medication I was on at them time. Because I overdosed on Benzos (as well as other psychotropics I had saved and stored in my home for years), the psychiatrists in the hospital would not give me anymore Benzodiazepines while I was in the hospital. And after staying in the hospital for two weeks and beginning the severe horrible hell of Klonopin withdrawal syndrome, I knew I would never take another Benzo again.

After I was forced to stop taking the Benodiazepine, Klonopin, I never looked back.

After surviving the severe beyond painful and debilitating neurological like impairments for over two months from the withdrawals from Klonopin after over two decades of their use, overuse and abuse, I am mentally well. I made it.

After the damage caused from taking Klonopin and the many other combinations and cocktails of Psychotropic medications and after having over a hundred ECTs over a twenty-five year period, my brain continues to improve and rejuvenate every day. I keep improving both physically and mentally even at my ripe old age of 56. My arthritis is even improving. It is uncanny and unbelievably amazing.

This is great news and I thought everyone would be happy to hear it and receive the inspiration of hope from my story.

However, my words now are sometimes more difficult to share with the mental illness community than when I shared my thoughts and feelings of the pain from being suicidal. I am happy I could do that then to help others, plus writing about my pain was very therapeutic for me.

Maybe more people could relate to my posts about heartache, loss, pain and despair because that was what they were going through, as well. Maybe it is harder to hear the blessings of wellness because it doesn’t seem possible to them. Recovery and happiness seem so far away and out of reach many people don’t think it could happen to them.

I must reiterate a million times that recovery is possible and is in everyone’s reach. Some people must stretch further than others. But recovery and happiness are possible for everyone.  Keep going. Keep reaching for that first grasp of success and recovery. You can do it. Once you grab on to recovery never let go.

For years, we have been taught that mental illness means:

  1. Continued struggles and ups and downs with recovery.
  2. Mental illness diagnoses are forever.
  3. You will need to be on various psychotropic medications for the rest of your lives.
  4. Mental illness is a life sentence.
  5. You will never be normal.
  6. We can get you to live a functional life. Ugh.
  7. You must accept your diagnosis and use of medications as the first step in recovery or you will never achieve it.
  8. You must accept that this will be a lifelong battle.
  9. You must lean how to deal with the knowledge of this permanent life sentence before your journey of recovery can begin.

At lease those were some of the things I was told. Yikes. No wonder so many people struggling with mental illness attempt or die by suicide… There is not enough hope and sometimes there is no hope…

We must have hope for survival, recovery and wellness.

I want to help inspire that hope.

At first, I was so excited to share what I had learned and the positive experiences that happened to me. I thought people would be happy and receptive to hear what I had to say.

I received mixed reviews. Although people are happy for me they are very skeptical. Some think I am manic and that is why I feel well today. They think I am “crazy” and that this can never happen. I am living proof but it is almost like they can’t believe it.

I want them to believe it. I know it is true because I am living it and I must share my story. What else can I do? I hope people will listen and find hope from my story.

Some people get upset with me for making it sound like I am promoting for all people to be psychotropic medication free. This is not the case. Medications are necessary for many but maybe not forever for some people.

Psychotropic medications are not ALWAYS required, necessary or healthy for all people to take for the rest of their lives. The use of psychotropic medications needs to be evaluated more often on an individual basis for people after diagnosis. The pros and cons need to be addressed much more often than they are and the damage these meds can cause needs to be looked at very closely–ALWAYS.

Please think about this regarding the use of psychotropic medications…

We repeatedly hear…

“Everyone is different and responds to medications differently.”

If that is true then why do we hear the blanketed statements, “Psychotropic medications must be taken for the rest of your lives. Never stop taking your medications.” If everyone is different than why do we assume EVERYONE will need to take their medications for the rest of their lives. We DO NOT know this to be a fact. Not yet anyway.

We also hear and read, “Bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are lifelong chronic illnesses. You will have bipolar disorder, for example, for the rest of your life.” If everyone is different, how do we know this to be true for sure? I don’t think we do. We do not know this to be a fact as they do not have all the answers about mental illness. There are still learning as they go and we are currently their subjects.

We need to keep an open mind and keep the possibility and hope that mental illness is not ALWAYS a lifelong illness.

Also, some people don’t like it when I talk about the dangers of Benzos and other psychotropic medications. I know everyone is different, but still the dangers are very real and affect everyone differently.

I share my story to inform, educate, increase awareness and inspire hope.

Some people are not receptive to what I have to say. It is a very sensitive area. My story conflicts with what we have been taught about mental illness.

My story is the opposite of EVERYTHING we have been taught about mental illness. I share my current story about how…

  1. My recovery continues to improve and I have reached mental wellness.
  2. I no longer have bipolar disorder (I was told it was a misdiagnosis.)
  3. I am psychotropic medications free for over a  year and a half.
  4. I have less anxiety symptoms than before starting Klonopin and other medications (withdrawal symptoms from Benzos can cause an increase in anxiety like symptoms worse than anxiety was. We blame increased anxiety on mental illness when in actuality it was from withdrawal effects of Benzos and possibly other psychotropics).
  5. I feel like my old self before my initial diagnosis of postpartum depression 27 years ago. This continues to improve every day and is a welcome joy.
  6. I enjoy working again. I am a resident care assistant for patients with Alzheimers. I get paid to give love again like before my diagnosis when I was a special needs teacher.
  7. I am joining church groups and signed up for an adult tap class.
  8. Slowly I am learning how to be social again and I welcome that as well.
  9. Nothing is permanent.
  10. My mental health improved. I am better and can live a beautiful, productive and meaningful life (BEYOND FUNCTIONAL).

Once I was given a mental illness diagnosis, it was drilled into my head that it is permanent and will never go away. I was told I will HAVE to take psychotropic medications for the rest of my life. “You must NEVER stop taking your medications,” I was repeatedly told. “You will never be normal. We can get you to live a functional life but you will never be normal.”

These kind of things are also said to many people after being given a mental illness diagnosis. The rest of your life seems like an awful long time to endure the type of hell I went through. Maybe that is why there are so many suicides. People with mental illness diagnoses are not given enough hope.

I was diagnosed with mental illness over 27 years ago and have been mentally well about a year after the Klonopin withdrawal symptoms finally subsided enough to enjoy the beauty of living again. Maybe my recovery  took 26 years, but the point is… it is possible and it happens. Regardless of the length of time it took, reaching recovery and mental wellness is a huge beautiful glorious blessing and is worth every pain and heartache.

Keep going. Keep fighting. You will make it too and once you do you will know it was all worth it–every painful step and pothole of your journey matters.

The pain and suffering from mental illness does not have to be forever. It really doesn’t. It will get better. You will get better. You can do it. You can make it. I am living proof.

Never forget…

You are loved by many.

You are needed.

You are important and you matter.

Your life has value.

You can live a long, successful, happy and productive life.

You can and will make a positive impact on many people’s lives.

You can and will enjoy the beauty of living…

and hopefully one day without the interference of mental illness.

I pray that for all of you.

Never give up.

You got this.

When you don’t feel like you can do this…

GOD HAS YOU.

Much love, Sue


Photo credit: Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

In life, the best thing to do is?

I am a mental patient and had a tough teenage. When I was first diagnosed with a mental disorder, I was only 13 and had no clue of mental disorders. I didn’t know if the treatments were available. All I could think of was that my family would abandon me or send me to a lunatic asylum, I would never get cured and would be left to rot in the asylum for life, all my dreams would be shattered, my life would be reduced to mere ashes sooner than I ever imagined, and all other negative thoughts. I contemplated suicide several times and attempted twice or so, for I found no point leading a life like this with a mental disorder which crippled me to an extent that it pulled me back from actualizing my dreams and aspirations. Being a teenager, you dream a lot. I had a lot of dreams too and eagerly wished to fulfill them. Watching them break like glass in front of my very eyes was extremely painful and heart-breaking.

I used to be the topper of my class but soon enough, my academic performance degraded. People in my neighbourhood began to spread dirty rumours about me (don’t ask me what), enough to give me a bad name. They began supposing that I have become insane and can never recover. My life is finished — I thought so.

I felt guilty, lonely and worthless. I began blaming myself for my condition and felt much worse. Recovery was another dream that I wished to fulfill. Hope was all I could hold on to.

I sought professional help and managed to come to a better position, mentally at least. It took me years, though. At that very low phase of my life, I decided that I won’t ever let anyone suffer or feel lonely and worthless like I did. I decided to make someone smile every day, extend a helping hand to the distressed, and make them feel less lonely. I wanted to spread mental health awareness to educate people and provide them help. I thought of several ways to do so and ultimately chose to blog as the option. Thus I began my blog in January, 2019. And I aspire to join an NGO and work for the cause of mental health awareness in the near future. Fighting stigma is my goal.

Bottom line: The best thing to do with your life is to use it purposefully. Help the distressed because they need it. Make someone smile and you be the reason for it. Fight for a cause. Don’t entertain injustice, discrimination, prejudice, and stigma. Raise your voice against it. Life is just once, make the most of it.

No Longer Hiding my Emotions

Over the years I’ve become extremely good at hiding my emotions from others.

I grew up with the belief that sadness & tears made me weak so I did my best to never cry in front of people.

I believed that my problems didn’t matter because out there in the world there was someone else with bigger problems than mine.

I believed that people wouldn’t care about what I was going through or that I would be considered a burden.

These beliefs have stayed with me up until this very day. While I’ve gotten more & more comfortable sharing my emotions & problems with others, it’s still something I struggle with today.

This has probably been one of the most difficult habits for myself to break because it’s become natural for me to just hide my emotions & bottle them up never sharing with anyone.

My entire life I’ve done my best to remain strong through all the difficult situations I faced up until now. I didn’t let others see or know the true pain I was in. There were periods where I would spend many nights crying myself to sleep at night. I didn’t want to dump my own problems on anyone else because I didn’t want to be a burden. I ended up not only carrying my own weight of problems, but the weight of those closest to me as well. I put off working through & healing my own issues, to help the ones I loved most.

It’s taken me up until now to realize that it’s important to take care of our own selves first. I neglected my own healing & stuffed my emotions deep down inside of me. In order to be of service & help to others in our lives, we must heal ourselves from within as well.

Because of the difficulties & pain I’ve faced, I never want others to feel alone or feel like they’re a burden. I am here for anyone and can be that shoulder for you to cry on. Never feel like you are a burden to others or that your problems don’t matter because they do! No matter how big or small the problem you’re faced with, it still matters.