Overwhelmed by disability
When I was first diagnosed in 1997 of a mental disability, after a particularly traumatic ordeal, I was devastated. To be told I have a mental disorder and going through the trauma as well seemed like a double whammy to me. I was already reeling and now I was down for the count. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as severe depression.
The crying the hiding in my home and the disassociation from my children made it even more unbearable, I just kept sinking lower and lower. I fought taking medications because that would make it concrete, that I do indeed have a mental disability. Especially if the medication made me feel better, then there would be no way to escape the truth, I was; I did indeed have a mental illness.
These fears and many more keep people from getting the help that is so desperately needed. Another fear is that the record of your mental illness will follow you where ever you go. If you try to find a job or have legal issues this will be brought to the forefront and work against you. This is not true. You can apply for a job without the stigma following you around. Unless you wear a red badge with MHD (mental health diagnosed) no on will know, unless you tell them, or act inappropriately.
So with phase one you go through denial, this can’t be happening to me, fear how this effects the rest of my life, will I ever get better, sadness, (depression), self-isolation hiding and avoiding to include visitors and the phone. I would hide when someone knocked on my door, even if it was family.
We would need clinical help, Such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psycho-therapist. Not to mention good family support or significant others as well as good friends and education for them.
Struggling by disability
For me it was a minute by minute struggle ten hour by hour, then finally I let them prescribe medication and I gave in and took them, I started to feel better in a few weeks, but with the weeks turning into months of medication and therapy (which I fought until I started feeling better).’
The struggle of just getting up in the mornings was just too much for me to deal with, both the medication and therapy were working, however I was still struggling to even brush my teeth. I was finally able to talk to my children, however it wasn’t the same. I was still in a shell waiting to be filled with something good. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t recognize my face anymore, it was drawn and haggard, rarely did I smile. I couldn’t even imagine smiling ever again, I was in danger of losing my home, because I wasn’t aware of the resources that were available to me. In time I did lose my home. Luckily for me I had someplace else to go. I know others that are not so fortunate.
Living with a disability
Eventually I started to get up and even to get dressed. Some days I would even walk around my yard and look at the flowers I had planted from last year when I was well.
I wasn’t well, but I was better. I could cook meals for my children and myself, I started walking on my treadmill again. Week by week and with lots of work in therapy and always taking my medication I was clawing my way out of the haze of my disability, I was starting to get better. It was still a daily battle, However, I was winning this one darn it. I started getting a determination to get better. I was sick of being sick. I was lonely and tired of it’ I was a self made recluse. I still had to make baby steps and I did, I actually went to the store! That was a big deal! Eventually I would go to the store even when I didn’t need to buy anything, jus to be around people.
One thing that besides the clinical help was also found useful was a peer support group and a peer support person, people who ehad experienced similar mental health issues ad could speak to you and help you with your issues.
Living beyond the Disability
Today I am a happy and as much as anyone is, a normal person. I wake up each morning and take my meds, just as anyone would do with an illness like heart disease or diabetes. I shower and I use girly smelling soap because I want to smell good! I get dressed and I put thought into the clothes I wear, I want to look good! I socialize and enjoy my life, I am happy to be alive; I watch some TV or play on the computer, make dinner, wash up and go to bed. Pretty normal huh! Yet here I am not just going through the motions I am actually doing it!
Thank you for taking the time to read this