My blog turns 2, today!!!
The blog that I have to say, I didn’t ever think I’d ever get up the courage to write it, even though I’ve done the activism that’s on here, in various forms, since I started actively participating on social media, since January of 2010.
The blog that while I don’t get paid for it and it doesn’t have a high readership, somehow though, makes its way to people who need it and who it helps them. So everything that my children and I went through 7+ years ago, as far as the bad and the heartbreaking, wasn’t all in vain.
I’ve made mention that I actually did join Facebook, after not being online for a year, in August of 2009. I also have made mention, that I had NO IDEA, of what Facebook was, as I was still in the mental health system, after my suicide attempt. And I was quite medicated at that time.
Which today is the 7th anniversary of my suicide attempt. And I didn’t wake up with a great amount of trepidation, as I have on this date, like I have in the past.
Even if there is a recurrent theme, that I haven’t made peace with my past, I’ve still decided to move forward. I may not decide to move forward as far as my children are concerned, meaning, that I’m ALWAYS going to be stuck in the past, and heartbroken, that I couldn’t raise them, to adulthood or be what they needed the last few years they were with me. But I constantly dwell on my past life with my children, just so I don’t lose any more memories of them.
But, I don’t live in my past, anymore. Nor do I let it define me. Or limit me. Other than what naturally my own disabilities limit me, and I only let them limit me, to an extent.
And on this 7th anniversary of my suicide attempt, that I survived, as I still was quite sick, medically, certain things bear mentioning, of where I was 7 years ago, as well as since then, as I can’t even edit my early blogs or even some of my recent ones.
So I’ll recap it for you, in case you missed it.
7 years ago, I woke up in the afternoon, not thinking I’d survive my attempt to overdose on narcotics. I ended up on a psych ward for 34 days (I was on a medical floor the first night under a suicide watch and had an aide who watched me until they moved me to the psych ward). I ended up during that period of time, when on the psych ward, of nearly being committed to a long term mental health hospital. Instead I ended up in group homes for an additional 15 1/2 months. But I had to go through commitment hearings, which in the end, they “stayed” the commitment but made me a legal ward of the State for 6 months.
But I lost my freedom for 508 days. Which comes out to as 1 year, 4 months and 20 days.
It NEVER gets old, as much in ability that I lost, of what in the most basic of freedoms, that I have now, that I didn’t have in that period of time, even though I was quite medically sick due to gastric bypass complications and spent time in the hospital for ulcers, while still in the group home, that I was in, for the last year I was in the MH system.
I had nothing, though, in that period of time. Literally some clothes, a few knicknacks that I was able to grab from my apartment, when I first got out of the psych ward and was in the 1st group home, which was a 90 day intensive behavior treatment group home. I had some clothes and my father gave me an old little tv with a built in VCR..
Which would be all of the possessions I’d have, during the duration of my stay in the mental health system.
I remember in August of 2009, my hearing for my SSDI. That it helped to hear the judge be outraged of what I was put through, as well as what my children were so unnecessarily put through HELL and was deciding in my favor. I do remember joining Facebook, as I said above, also in August of 2009, but not having any idea of what it was, from my local library, which is the current library I now use. But I still had very little hope, and it seemed to take forever from the judge ruling in my favor, to get my SSDI and to get my backpay, that would allow me to move out on my own.
It NEVER gets old though, the freedoms I got back. Even with all the abilities that I lost. I woke up this morning, didn’t have to worry about waking up in time to make breakfast, at the group home, which was served early in the morning. And their food was crappy. Or getting woken up by a certain time, to take meds, that it would be proved later on, that had very little therapeutic benefit but that I had serious physical consequences, such as my ulcers getting worse.
It NEVER gets old that I choose what I want to eat. That I have medications that I’m allowed to take, for pain and anxiety and I choose when to take them, no one makes that choice for me. That I can come and go as I please. No one can say where I can go and how long I can be gone for. Which is something I had to deal with, until I moved out on my own.
It NEVER shocks to fail me, the irony, that 2 years after my suicide attempt, that I’d be fighting to stay alive, in August of 2010, trying not to die of a g.i. bleed. That I’d get back my freedom after being in the system so long, to spend most of that time on campus or inpatient due to my complications from my gastric bypass getting worse. That I was waiting 5 years ago, trying to hold on, until my gastric bypass reversal. That while my gastric bypass reversal saved me from acutely dying, I didn’t know 5 years ago, as I hoped I’d get my children back, after I healed from it. However it took me a long time internally to heal. And I was still quite sick, 4 years later, in August of 2011. With projectile vomiting blood and still having abdominal pain, which I had, both after my reversal and for the following year. As well as other medical health issues.
I didn’t know that getting the Mirena IUD, in November of 2011, would be another potential fatal health issue for me. But one I wouldn’t recognize for another 15 months, which I at that point was on the verge of having a stroke, in March of 2013, still haven’t ruled out a TIA and because I have the issues I do, of when seeing new doctors. Whether they be acute care or specialists.
I NEVER made mention though, in this blog or to very many people , of the nervous breakdown, that I had again, in Winter of 2013. Not knowing what Mirena was playing into that, as well as personal circumstances, getting really bad for me, where I’m choosing not to go into detail of the specifics, but I found myself technically homeless in late 2012 and losing friends closest to me, that was not within the realm of my control. And right after moving to my current apartment, the enormous amount of physical pain and emotional pain I was in, led me to self isolate, for self protection. Because I knew that if I couldn’t rein it in, that I even if I’d survive physically what I was going through, I’d be mentally in a place, where not only would it be worse, then it was in 2007/2008, but that I wouldn’t recover from it, and I had fought too hard to stay alive, to lose anymore of my abilities and my freedom.
I can’t go into every minute detail, of my life, in the last 7 years. Where the above has major relevance is that being medically complex like I am, certain things, like pregnancy, a perfectly performed gastric bypass, an IUD, things that women go through well, if not thrive afterwards, nearly kills me.
But the relevance, psychologically is even greater. Because what I will do or say as an activist and what I’m willing to do personally, is conflicting. In someways it makes me a hypocrite, but understandably so. I didn’t psychiatric help when I had my nervous breakdown in Winter of 2013. I did everything I could, for the few people who were still in my life, to hide it.
Because I was terrified of ending back in the mental health system. Keep in mind, that I had no prior psychiatric history before 7 years ago. I had my 1st psychiatric hospitalization, about 2 weeks before my suicide attempt, exactly 7 years ago. But because I honestly didn’t expect to survive my suicide attempt, let alone have to suffer the repercussions of it, with losing my freedom for so long, I understand better than anyone, who may have multiple reasons of NOT seeking mental health treatment, when in personal mental health crisis.
And while as an activist, I try to push for those to get help. I understand better than anyone, the fears they have of getting help. Because it’s not impossible for me or a few like me, where they ended up in the mental health system, and they could NOT get out of it.
And there’s NO way that I’m EVER going to lose my freedom like that, EVER AGAIN. But I can say as an activist, if your depression is going to possibly be fatal to you, you don’t have any freedom, when you are a prisoner of your mental health issues and have NO peace of mind. The last thing I’d want to do as an activist and advocate, is for someone in fear of losing their freedom of choice, lose their lives, because their mental health issues ended up being fatal for them.
With that being said, what am I going to do today, to celebrate, if anything? Not sure, yet. But I celebrate my freedom and what the little my life is, everyday. I never take it for granted. And it never fails to delight me, as sad as I am that the best part of my life is over, as far as being a proactive mother who could work and drive and I have NO guarantee that I’m not going to get sicker mentally or physically, I take each day as it comes.
Sometimes that means, I still stay at home, because I’m too physically sick and in too much pain to go outside. My choice. I still have the choice, as I’ve said before, to do that. As well as choose what I eat, medications I take. I don’t share a television with 50 people, anymore. I have my own smart tv. I have this laptop that I can blog from as well as stay as connected or not as connected as I like, with some amazing people I’ve met due to social media, in over the last 5 years. I can read a book or a magazine from a tablet. I can take pictures with a smartphone, that I didn’t even know they existed 7 years ago, just like I didn’t know Facebook did.
I can choose to go out and while I’m not rolling in money, I’m not living on $100 a month, either. I can go out to lunch, see a movie. Go shopping for cute clothes. I can do that on my own, while even though it’s challenging with my cognitive disabilities, I am up for the challenge and embrace it.
I know now that even if I’m not the same fitness freak I was, 10 years ago, that I can go for an 8 mile walk. I can walk by the old group home I used to live at, which is only 2 miles away and know that I’ll fight for what my best mental and medical health looks like. And that NOBODY will ever have that kind of power over me again like they did between August of 2008 to the end of December of 2009.
I’ll fight the good fight, for what I believe is wrong that happens to other people who don’t have a voice. I’ll fight the good fight that needs to happen, so that people who are shamed for their disabilities, for how they look like, for being bullied for any reason, have a voice and realize that they aren’t alone, and other people not just me, cares. And that while all this advocacy and activism I do now, wasn’t something I planned on doing, 10 years ago, it’s something I’m MEANT to do, now. And I do it, extremely well.
I know now, that I am no longer a victim. And I am doing more than just surviving. But at the same time, I’ve also been hurtful to others. And while I’m still not an angel, I try not to think too much about those who don’t have my best interest at heart. And I will try in my unconventional relationship with my children, that they always know I love them more than anything, and that I try to support them, as best as I can, currently.
And what was amazing about our lives together as small bonded loving family, is always honored. That what was bad when things were at the worst for me, didn’t happen in vain. That by talking about it, as an activist, helped other families not only get help that they need, but that they didn’t lose their beloved parent due to medical or mental health crisis. Or parents of adult children, who have adult children in medical and/or mental health crisis, that I’ve helped support and help them gain a better understanding, that this wasn’t anything within the realm of their control, let alone their children.
I’m NEVER going to say that I was grateful for all these unneeded learning lessons. But I am choosing to the best of my ability, to not only survive them, when near fatal, but live my life. And celebrate everyday of what’s good about my life, the people and my circumstances, which aren’t a nightmare anymore, while allowing myself to be sad, of what’s still bad about it. And be proud of myself that I’m not bitter. Just at times, really remorseful.
Happy 2nd birthday, unstapledlisa!!! And a big thank you to whoever or whatever was looking out for me, that I didn’t die exactly 7 years ago. Or 5 years ago. Or 2 1/2 years ago.
Life ain’t grand but it’s good. And I’m eternally grateful for what it is, what it isn’t and who I have that I love the most…