Mental Health Friday #22

Mental Health Friday #22

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Hi. I’m Angela and I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar 2, borderline personality disorder, binge eating, and general anxiety. I can’t remember how old I was when I realized I had a mental illness. I know I’ve always been suicidal. I think my mind uses it as a coping mechanism. I know I was at least fifteen. It wasn’t until I turned seventeen that I sought help. The catalyst was I went from being suicidal to homicidal. I wanted to stab a kid in my class and it terrified me. I went to the counselor at school and started therapy. Still no one recognized my true diagnosis.

It took me twenty two years to finally get diagnosed properly. I had to get a psychological evaluation for myself. After being treated for depression off and on and then general anxiety with meds that didn’t help, I now have a good mix of medication and therapy. Most days I’m good and for those off days… Well I take one moment at a time.

One final thought… Always self advocate. I wish I had sooner. It took me almost being imploding to realize I need to be picky in my doctors and to get second opinions. We need to take care of ourselves before we can others.


This week’s submission is by Angela who blogs at I am my own island , do pop by and say hello. She writes about life in general, living and improving despite mental issues.

As always, The goal of Mental Health Friday is to break the silence, talk about mental illness with the aim of blurring out the stigma one story at a time. If you’d like to share your story, I’d love to have you. You can contact me at my email: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit HERE.

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Mental Health Friday #18

Mental Health Friday #18

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“I felt as though I were standing in a box and the box kept getting smaller. Every time I felt ok, something happened that would knock me around again.”

The above is an excerpt from my last post. During this time, my emotional reaction was intense. The people in my life that I had always been there for, left me feeling completely worthless to everyone. Being badgered about my medications made me feel as though it didn’t matter what I did or said, and it didn’t. I was intensely hurt, and intensely angry. I can’t say how horrible those couple of years were, but I can say it was never as bad as being with my ex-husband.

When I first left, my physical state was one where I could not safely walk an eighth of a mile by myself for worry that my legs would give out on me. I had trouble with depth perception, balance and coordination. From the start, every time I was with John and I was in pain, he would ask me to go for a walk. I found that walking made the pain better and I began to walk everyday. At this point I was medication free.

That winter, I went back to my doctor once my insurance was all set and I got back on the medication. This only lasted a couple of days before I was unable to stand up. I was extremely dehydrated and my body was not breaking down the medications. I knew it was my liver. I went to the doctor’s three times over the next year and every time I was seen by a nurse. It took until July of 2015 to get an appointment with my doctor. Then they cancelled the appointment because the doctor had to take a month off. At that point, I made the decision to find a new doctor. Over the past few months, there have been a lot of doctor’s appointments and I have been in treatment for Hepatitis C for four weeks now.

In the spring of 2014, less than a year after I left my ex-husband, I got a phone call from a friend. I had known this woman for 18 years, although I had not seen her or talked to her since before the previous Christmas. When I answered the phone she asked me why I didn’t have a truck yet and I said I didn’t have the money. She said I should have had a job by then, that it had been over a year, (it hadn’t) I told her I was disabled and she told me that she sees people in wheel chairs bagging groceries. She said I was looking to blame someone for my life and when I asked why she was saying these things to me, she said because of the conversations she had had with me over the winter. I replied to that saying, “But I did not have a phone over the winter.” She insisted I talked to her on John’s phone, but that was never true. She had obviously spoken to someone else and was yelling at me for it. I tried to talk to her about this later on three different occasions, only to be told that she didn’t have time for it. I could not continue a friendship with this woman and it broke my heart. I did not, nor do I understand why she called me to say those things. Sometimes it is the not knowing that makes it the worst. Read more

Mental Health Friday #17

Mental Health Friday #17

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“When I moved into my new room at the sober women’s house on July 2, 2012, I was mandated to attend thirty A.A. meetings in thirty days, without exception. It had already begun that people in the program were treating me differently although I did not know why at the time. I felt uncomfortable going to the meetings, in addition to the fact that being forced to go made it difficult with my defiance issues. I have never been in a detox or any other facility where I was told what to do. John went to the meetings with me and I now found it very difficult to sit through the hour meeting now that it was mandated as opposed to being my own choice.”

The above is an excerpt from my last post here.

During the next couple of months, my mind was a whirlwind. It was overwhelming to feel free and on my own. I spent a lot of time talking to my friend Kay at the sober house and talking with John. As I mentioned, he went to the thirty meetings in thirty days with me. To get a slip signed saying I was there, I had to sit through the entire meeting.

One evening, we were at a meeting and I was having an extremely hard time sitting still. At break time, I was about to walk away and give it up when a man I had never met before came outside and sat with me. His name was also John and he talked to me and gave me the hope I needed to go back in. If not for this man who at the time had thirty days of sobriety, I would have walked away at that moment. I thank him for that.

A few days after I had moved out, my ex-husband told me that he was going to have to cancel my health insurance, but that he would wait until I had gotten my own. I knew he was not going to wait. I made the decision to wean myself off of my meds before my ins. was cancelled. It took two months for me to do this. On Aug 29, 2012, my then husband called to tell me that my insurance would be cancelled the next day. If I had not weaned myself off of the medications, I would have ended up in the hospital.

Going to my home group of A.A. became miserable for me. Some people in my group would not look at me and the ones who did insulted me. I didn’t know this at the start, but my ex-husband was telling people that I was manic and out of control. He was also telling people about my eating and sleeping issues. Every Friday, when I went to my home group, I was questioned on my weight. I had been 170 pounds, 40 pounds overweight, due to bloating from the medications and when I stopped them, the bloating had gone away and it was very noticeable. At first people told me I looked good, but one week they simply started to say I was too skinny, that I looked sick. They wanted to know if I was eating and sleeping. I do not go to A.A. meetings for eating.

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Mental Health Friday #12

Mental Health Friday #12

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“During the Spring of 2008 my husband and I started to smoke Marijuana. We smoked a few times over a period of six months and then my husband stopped. I went on to smoke another six months before my husband realized and we then went back to the program of A.A. We originally met there when I was three weeks sober, May 25th of 1996. We had not abused alcohol or drugs since then and saw Marijuana as a relapse. The twelve steps of A.A. can be applied to more addictions than just alcohol and we both knew that.

This started a new period of our lives. More losses and a new way of life through the steps.”

It was early May of 2009 when I walked into that first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had had a few years of sobriety prior, but this time I wanted something different- Recovery. I found a sponsor, a woman I had known as a neighbor for a few years. She was a lovely woman, but she had not done the steps through the big book of A.A. the way I wanted to. Otherwise, she helped me immensely to prepare myself. I joined more than one group and was the coffee maker at more than one as well. I went to five meetings a week in addition to commitments. A commitment is when you join with other members of your group to speak at another group.

My confidence began to build and I started to become busy in other ways as well. Delivering a weekly donation to the soup kitchen on Mondays was one of my favorite additions to my life. I began to see that people outside of my home, away from my ex-husband treated me differently. The more I did outside of the house, the more separated I felt from my ex-husband, the more I began to see.

In April of 2010 I celebrated my one year anniversary. I was doing well. We had a friend living in the apartment downstairs with his wife and three children. His wife and I were very close friends. We all were. Christmas with them had been wonderful and we were looking forward to summer.

It was the end of May, or beginning of June, I don’t remember. What I do remember is my ex-husband telling me that we were losing everything. Our house, our business, everything just gone. I was in shock. Our friends had to move and so did we. Read more