Ok back to parading the crazy.. I am having to face that I have been bipolar pretty much my entire life. (I am assuming as a small child one doesn't become labeled as nuts) As a teenager I was treated for manic depressive disorder, again in my early twenty's for depression and again in my late twenty's for depression. Unfortunately in the last 21 months I have been chasing a grief that started the day of the accident and not looking at the big picture of where this incredibly HUGE depression came from. Please do not misunderstand me, losing a child is cause for great depression, but by this point, I believe, one should be able to function in a semi normal state, or whatever normal is now (haven't figured that out). It will be a process of figuring out what works for me as I am working towards over coming the darkness of months of depression. A parallel effort if you will. Some things about me may have been irreversibly changed. I may never run again or I could run marathons, I may never take photos again or I may take photos for a book I write. The world is wide open at this point. The key is finding out what makes me happy.
I suppose I am lucky in a way in that I don't necessarily believe that a label of a mental health disorder is in anyway shameful. It is what it is.. it is how I am hard wired and I didn't MAKE me this way so why should I be ashamed. Are you ashamed that one of your feet is slightly bigger than the other? That your eyes are blue but not quite the sparkling blue of the ocean? That you completely detest brussel sproats? I am going to guess, no. So why should I or anyone else be ashamed of having their brain wired just a bit differently. I will say what I said again yesterday, NO ONE IS TO BLAME for not seeing the past in the last 21 months. What I do find unfortunate is that mental health issues are so shameful to many people that no one spoke up and said.. "Hey you know.. you have been here before." or maybe been forth coming with not only my history but family history as well, until it was dreadfully close to too late. I wanted to die, I was prepared to take action to die, I just had to get all the little grim reaper ducks in a row, then and only then were words ever uttered that this may be more than just grief. The bottom line is this is an illness. This needs to be talked about and discussed OPENLY. Why do people feel it is ok to say "You know your Uncle Tom had cancer in his 30s" but NOT ok to say .. "You know Uncle Tom battled depression and anxiety." It is part of your family history that should not be kept in the dark. It is just as deadly as cancer people.
Another instance of luckiness. Over 60% of people untreated for bipolar disorder become addicted to illegal drugs, they are just chasing down a way to feel better, to calm the voices, to make them a whisper not a raging roar. That did happen to me. Lucky .. very very lucky.
So I am sure some of you are wondering why all this is being figured out now. That is simple really. The accident triggered trauma, that triggered PTSD and Grief and Depression all at the same time, creating a huge trigger for a massive depressive incident and when normal measures for depression where not getting me out of this hole after months and months, puzzle pieces started falling into place. I will say that it was a family member that finally said.. "Do you think you may be bipolar?" and that opened this Pandora's of the past, the present and the future where my crazy is concerned. So that is the short story of how we got here today. So family member X you aren't at fault.. you may just have saved my life, the time frame doesn't really matter.
I can only ask that today, if you are struggling and not quite sure if it may be a bit more than just depression or sadness or whatever it is you are feeling, reach out to family members. Just ask the question. "Do we have a history of mental illness in our family?" I am not sure it will be as comfortable as asking if there are any birthday's coming up this month, but isn't it worth your health, your well being, your happiness? And family members if there is known issues, for the love of little Pete.. DON'T HIDE IT.. Parade it around.. BE HAPPY TO BE UNIQUE!
Be the person strong enough to open up about the truth behind the curtain. It just may be your daughters life you save.
Much love to you all,
President of the Pro Bailer Club.