This summer, my oldest daughter had the opportunity to attend a musical event where multiple concerts are held throughout the day. She has always loved attending these events, but this year was something special. Not only did she attend, but she was part of the “staff” with an organization she feels so strongly about; Hope For The Day.
My daughter has long desired to help those in need, often times putting her own wellbeing aside to help her friends. She’s struggled with her own issues in the past, and she feels that allows her to help those in need as well since she’s been right where they are and felt some of those same feelings. She’s come out on the other side not just surviving but THRIVING!
Her mission, like others with Hope For The Day, is to let people know that it is okay NOT to be okay!
Mental Health Day was October 10, 2018. It was announced on the radio as I was getting dressed for work that morning. I paused for a moment to appreciate that mental health is in the news and that help is available for those who suffer. I have family and friends that have gone through hell and back while dealing with a mental illness. Back when we first started going through this in the late 70s and early 80s (yes, I’m that old), no one really knew much about it because it wasn’t talked about. It was as if it was something to be shameful of if one did present with a mental illness. But shame is not something that needs to be felt or shouldered as a burden when it is discovered that someone has a mental illness.
You wouldn’t shun someone if they were diabetic, so why shun someone with a mental illness? You shouldn’t!
I do realize that people with an untreated mental illness will wreak havoc on everyone around them. This happened in my very own family until my mother was officially diagnosed and put on the right medicine when I was a child. It’s happened, sadly, all these years later now that my very own husband has been diagnosed as Bi-polar. He’s on medicine now and receiving counseling weekly, so we’re hopeful, whereas before we were not exactly sure if we’d make it when things were spiraling out of control with him. Having endured all that I did as a child watching my mother go through this and having many friends go through it, still nothing prepared me for having a spouse with it! But, here we are, trying to make it through and stay together, if possible. I’m not going to lie to you. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. There is no escaping it when you’re a child born into it or a spouse of someone with it. If it’s a friend, you can put distance between you once you see that nothing you say will make a difference anyway. Try as you may, you simply cannot convince your friend to stay on the medicine the doctor has prescribed. Been there, done that with about FOUR different friends. I’ve actually asked myself, and my father, WHY must I endure this with family and friends, AND NOW MY HUSBAND?! No answers are to be found, of course, but it doesn’t stop me from asking the question!
Here’s the thing. There’s treatment for this condition – you don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to put your family through hell, either. What you do have to do is SEEK HELP! Make the appointment! Go see a doctor that specializes in the field. They will diagnose you and treat you for this condition so that you can lead a normal life. Your family will THANK you for it when you do! When the medicine is in your system and you’re on an even keel … life will be wonderful once again! It’s when you spiral up and down that it causes problems, so you just need something to even out the chemical imbalance in the brain.
And there’s no shame in it!! NONE!
What you’re going through might inspire someone else when you finally seek help and receive treatment. Others might be on the outside looking in and see themselves in what you’ve gone through. And, when they see you living your life and no longer feeling helpless and hopeless, they will want to seek treatment, too! You will inspire others to seek help and pursue treatment so they can live their best lives, too!
It’s okay NOT to be okay.
What’s NOT okay is to continue to live in this and wreak havoc on your loved ones.
Please … get help. And embrace life once you’re on the right path with counseling and medicines to treat the condition!