From the first time I seriously considered taking my own life at 12 to the time I was taken away in the back of an ambulance to a psychiatric hospital, 6 years had passed. It was 6 years filled with shame and silence. I got extremely lucky and received the help I needed to survive. But for some, 6 years is too long to suffer alone, and not everyone survives.
While I don’t discuss my struggles with mental illness at every handshake, I’m also not at all hesitant to talk about my ongoing battles with Bipolar Disorder. What if we lived in a world where mental health was regarded with the same openness and respect as physical health? Where no child would be ashamed to tell their mother, “I feel depressed,” or where no student would feel judged or like they had failed themselves for taking what can sometimes be life-saving medication? This is the type of world I want to live in, and I know we won’t get there if we aren’t willing to be open abut mental illness.
In the early 80s I was in the army. During my time of service, I got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Over the ensuing 32 years, I have been through three marriages and the death of a child. The depression, feelings of guilt etc. can be overwhelming.
I live small on a small disability pension. My third wife hates and actively hunts me. She has had me jailed enough times that I have moved far, far away from her. She has since been jailed for her crimes and lying to the police. I learned last night that she has been jailed also for misuse of the 911 emergency line.
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