I am mentally ill.
Those four words are an explanation for so many aspects of my life.
Those four words are not an excuse, they are a reality.
Those damn four words stop me from living the life that I want to live!
Those four words scare me more than any other words I could post on this blog.
I hate those four words!
When I was 9, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In 1983, for a young girl to be diagnosed, the case had to be pretty severe. Throughout my life I have lived with it without the help of medication. However, I have always felt like I wasn’t really managing it. I have had multiple jobs, never staying anywhere more than 2 years. I have always had a messy, disorganized house. I frequently loose things and forget A LOT. I have always felt like my brain is a big huge party and everyone is talking at once. And I’ve never really felt like I was in control of it.
I’ve never really felt like I was in control of my own life.
In my early twenties, I started therapy for my shopping addiction. I spent a good two years seeing a great counselor at my university. He was amazing and he taught me a lot about why I did what I did. I really understood the relationship between credit cards and my mood/mental health. I felt like I had a grasp on my life for a short time.
A few years later, after getting further into debt, I started therapy again. I was diagnosed Bipolar and began to see a psychiatrist as well as another amazing therapist! I got healthy through the help of medications and took on my life full force.
I went through a period of time during my marriage when I doubted the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I was doing really well. I wasn’t on medication. I didn’t get super depressed and I never got manic. I thought the professionals must have made a mistake. I took medication for depression after I had my first son due to some postpartum anxiety but it didn’t really help. I started to feel out of control again. I was a stay at home mom but I wasn’t being the productive person that I wanted to be. I felt lazy, disorganized and very lonely. I tried medication for ADHD but I had adverse reactions to it. The doctors suspected there was more going on than just ADHD and postpartum depression.
They were right, of course. I am mentally ill.
I went back to a psychiatrist during the past few years. He also diagnosed me as being Bipolar. I finally realized that after three professionals diagnose it, I truly must have it. I have started taking medication again. I recognized that part of my problem was deep depression and another part was my ADHD. I have seen my moods stabilize and I’ve felt a lot happier. I have seen some improvements in the ADHD area but not enough.
I’ve once again started to feel out of control. I feel like the ADHD is ruling my life. I feel lazy and disorganized. I feel like I’m walking on the outside of my life and only sometimes I get to step into it but only for a brief moment.
I am mentally ill.
I realized, in just the past week or so, that the ADHD is completely ruling me. I’m trying to be a freelance writer and I’m failing parts of it. I’m going to grad school and while I’m doing well, I’m not managing my time very well. I am putting off assignments until the very last minute (as I’m typing this, I should be working on my last assignment for a class, it’s due tomorrow.). I’ve recently moved and have yet to completely unpack.
ADHD is running my life and I do not like it one bit.
Bills aren’t getting paid because I don’t look at them. I ran out of money because I didn’t budget, at all. Now I’m short and can’t pay anything. My rent is due in 2 days and I don’t have the money to pay it. I haven’t paid my utilities yet. My phone was shut off today because I’m grossly behind on it.
A lot of these problems could have been solved if I would have managed my time better and finished a freelance project that I was assigned months ago. I fear that they will fire me soon. They probably should.
My financial problems are the least of my worries some days.
I am mentally ill.
I want to tackle this monster in my head. It has controlled me and forced me to live in a way that makes me sad and lonely.
I want to manage my mental illness. I want to control it!
I want to fight harder than I have been fighting. I want to understand myself better so that I can get out of those endless cycle of financial problems that I continue to find myself in.
I was recently thinking back over the past few years and wondering how I could have fixed things. There are a TON of “should have’s” and I know it doesn’t do me any good to focus on them. Yet, I can’t help but realize that my mental health played a huge part in creating the situation I was in. It also, stopped me from fighting to get out of it. Tomorrow, I want to talk a bit more about how my mental health affected my financial situation. I hope you’ll check back to read it as well.
This was an extremely difficult post for me to write. I haven’t wanted to address it but I’ve known it needed to be. I am only posting this because I think this is a part of the problem for many people. If you are one of those people, please consult a mental health worker in your area or look for resources on the National Aliance on Mental Health website.
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