Saturday, July 28, 2012


Every time something tragic happens we want to find a reason as to why. That's human nature. If we know the "why" our brain can understand it & receive it better. In light of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado there are many people trying to find the "why" and many going with the "more common" responses: he's crazy, the Devil is busy, there is no God, and whatever else they can come up with BUT I want to focus on the "he's crazy" part for a minute.

*This is in no way taking away from any of the victims deceased or injured and by NO means giving the individual who created this horrific act any credit. My heart goes out to ALL effected. God is with you as many of our prayers are*

SIT DOWN WITH ME..................

For as far back as any of us can remember the term "crazy" has been used to describe many things good and bad. When people "went crazy" back in the day, they were isolated from the world, thrown away and or killed because no one understood the mind in a way to know how to deal with it. As time went on things evolved and treatment for "the crazy" got better. Medicines were created, doctors became more educated and facilities were built to accommodate their needs. It was a slow process but progress was being made. Most of it trial and error, dealing with the mind is not an exact science and there is no one formula to "fix" all.

When you saw someone who seemed "off their rocker", many just chalked it up to "they have a few screws missing", lots of times they do but more in a chemically imbalance way. Far too often the ailments of the mind are overlooked. Some will say "oh just get over it, you have a choice, you just want to be sad or act like you have no sense", trust me those who deal with any type of mental disorder/illness would give anything NOT to have this type of affliction.

Let's fast forward to today, more and more people are dealing with depression(minor/major/postpartum/etc), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc... Also more and more people are committing suicide or harming others because of it. The more its happening the less people want to talk about it. Its swept under the rug like that problem one has but acts as if it doesn't exist thinking it will just go away. In reality all that problem does is get worse and worse the more its ignored.

I can't speak for the Aurora shooter BUT I can speak for myself. More of you will relate to this than not.

WALK WITH ME..............................

In August of 2003 I became pregnant again much to my surprise being I just gave birth in May of 2003. I was so not ready or thrilled about pregnancy #3. Three months into my pregnancy I was put on bed rest until I gave birth. My world as I knew it was turned upside down. I had just started a new job which was super fast paced and stressful, I had a toddler at home, a 10 year old and the always on the go independent person I was, was shut down! I literally couldn't stand for 5 mins for fear I would go into labor early or worse, lose my child. I had to depend on everyone. This is when you find out who's really down with you. I didn't like that at all. I felt alone. I didn't know how to respond to the situation I was in. I tried against my doctor's orders to do things, getting upset when I couldn't. My stubborn self couldn't accept my situation. So for 6 months I stayed in bed only going to the doctor. Solely relying on my boyfriend to care for me. I didn't want to have any visitors and I was extremely emotional. Many didn't know I was pregnant, they just assumed I was too busy to be seen. I didn't know what to do because up until that point I didn't know anyone who felt like I did. I just isolated myself more. I thought if no one saw me I could deal with what was happening. Bad choice.

The day I gave birth was as traumatic as the 6 months on bed rest. In the hour and a half I was in the hospital before my daughter was born I almost lost her. I had to have an emergency C-section. In the blink of an eye I was being rolled into the operating room watching the fear in my boyfriend's eyes thinking this isn't looking good.

I made it through surgery, drained. She didn't cry for a few minutes and I was like damn, I was worried but wasn't connecting to the moment. The nurses were quiet and that made me nervous. I stayed in the hospital 6 days because I had a bad reaction to the epidural. They had a therapist, a social worker & a few doctors come talk to me because they thought I was "off my rocker". Like I was imagining the pain I was having. I couldn't move my eyeballs I was in so much pain. It wasn't until the Head Doctor of the anesthesia department came to explain my reaction to the epidural, it happened to 1 in thousands of patients. As you could imagine my response, I just had to be that 1! I was finally given directions to get rid of the pain and medicine to ease it before I was released. They were ready to send me to the padded room had it not been for the anesthesiologist.

Over the course of a year I had a series of incidents that caused a great deal of stress and had me severely overwhelmed. All during this time I just went on like "normal". I just thought I was worn out and the stress of having a newborn & a toddler had me not enjoying being a new mom. It wasn't until a little over a month I thought to ask my doctor about what I was feeling. I was also making a major move and had a few other things going on. I talked to my doctor and he said I had "baby blues" and if it didn't go away in a certain period of time to see my primary doctor. I went on with my days with the expectation, it would get better once I got where I was going and got back into my routine. HA! That didn't work out!

Between 2004-2007 mentally I declined rapidly, thinking I'll "shake it off". I didn't share my feelings with anyone or what I was going through. I was considered the "rock" so I had to press forward and do what I had to do. One night I was driving to work in 2007 and I blacked out. I was just going. I couldn't tell if the lights were green or red I was just going. I chalked it up to me just being tired. It happened again when I had my children in the car, the fear of the unknown got me to share it with my mate. I was terrified because the worst could have happened. I realized I had no emotion about it. I knew something was wrong and something bad could have happened but I couldn't connect to it. My mate dismissed it and said it was all in my head. In the moment I was pissed but he was right, something was wrong with my mental state. I made an appointment the next day. Saw my doctor and was diagnosed with major depression.

She explained to me in a nutshell my body wasn't producing the chemical that regulated my moods which threw off my emotions making me feel numb. She also said my mind and body was shutting down from too much at one time. I had 2 kids 365 days from 1 another, new job, financial issues, relationship issues amongst so much else. She broke down the numerous triggers and more than half of them related to me. I was a level above rock bottom when I saw her. The stress of everything had me feeling death was the only time I'd get peace. God had a different plan. I got help but my biggest trigger of all was the person I was in a relationship with. He was not supportive in my efforts to stabilize myself so that I could function like a normal person. A year after being diagnosed we broke up. In the moment I was sad but in the end it was the best thing that happened to me. He would have literally killed me had he stayed around because my mind was so weak I wasn't thinking rationally. I was GONE, mentally! I gave up on almost everything. Breathing was even hard to do.

Saying all of that to say this NO ONE but my mate knew I was suffering. Had I shared it and got more support I wouldn't have gotten to such a low point. I went to work every day, I put on a smile and pressed forward. I didn't want anyone to think I was "crazy". I had to put on a "face". My mate's reaction was one so many have. They don't understand how a person they think they know can go from being so put together and strong to completely weak, especially when they've seen them bounce back from hard times before. It double crippling because as the one going through the dramatic changes you tell yourself everyday it will get better/its not happening/just press forward largely because you don't want to be judged/you think its not that serious why can't you move passed it.

A person can only take but so much and when the mind has had enough it will shut down on you like a car out of gas! There's but so much you can overcome before you need to "take a time out". Granted some people can go through tragedy after stressful event after tragedy and be fine. There's a whole other reason for that and that's a whole other blog, maybe, LOL.

Looking back I understand my ordeal more. I went through the storm for a reason, one of them was to write this blog.

You never will know or understand what a person will do when they suffer from mental illness. Depending on how bad it is, the medicine they're taking or that they're not taking plays a major role in how a person reacts. A person coming "down" off of their meds can be far more detrimental to themselves and others than when never taking the meds in the first place.

Before I continue, I want to be clear, mental illness is not the sole reason for many tragedies in the world such as mass shootings, there are some folks who just get a kick off of destruction and are pure evil, PERIOD! Just like folks who like drama. Nothing is wrong with them mentally, their spirit is messed up, they just like chaos and creating it is a turn on. I'm NOT speaking of those people. I'm also NOT speaking of the people who choose to stay sad/down because they want sympathy/attention from others. The point of this blog is to bring awareness to mental illness as a whole.

Another thing that makes mental illness so taboo and have people leary of talking about it is because it can happen to anyone at anytime, you can't necessarily stop it because for one the mind is a powerful source. Its also a stigma about people who suffer mental illness like we can prevent it from happening. Check the studies and look at your family make up. Most people who have someone in their family who suffers from mental illness has more than 1 person suffering from that same illness. Some studies say certain mental illnesses are genetic.

There is a code of silence about mental illness, especially in the black community. We don't talk about things that effect us, we don't discuss our family medical history, we go hard with the "whatever happens in this house stays in this house" attitude and we also are masters at covering things up. I have an aunt who had a "nervous breakdown" when I was a child. In modern terms she had a psychiatric break triggered by a traumatic event. Her brain couldn't process it so it shut down. Back then her condition didn't really have a specific label but today she's consider bipolar and schizophrenic. She has suffered one too many tragic events to her already unstable mental state. Yet my family doesn't talk much about it. I was raised in that culture so in dealing with my own issue I followed the same pattern. Silence. I didn't want to continue that cycle. I didn't want my mental illness to control me.

If I didn't write this many would have never thought I suffered from a mental illness. To me its not real at times.

We have to get over the "silence" of talking about mental illness. Its doing more harm than good. Its so not as simple as people think it is. Oh just take some meds and you'll be fine or if you're too far gone just put you in a home and forget about you. Dismissing things never solved any real problems. Neither does acting as if it doesn't exist. More don't know enough about mental illness to understand it. I too was one of those people. It wasn't until I became a patient I learned more.

Some of you who are reading this right now know exactly what I'm talking about. Some of you been there or are there now thinking you're "crazy" or that no one cares about you. They do most just can't understand how or why you're hurting because its not a physical thing they can see or they may have been through something similar to what you've been through thinking "it didn't effect me like that so you shouldn't be so effected". Mental illness effects each one differently. It may take some time for you even still to tell people or talk about it but know that you're not alone. There's still people I haven't discussed it with in my own family or with close friends. Its not that I'm hiding it(obviously since I'm writing about it, LOL) but sometimes things are better dealt with the less people you have adding their 2 cents to it.

Many often hid their affliction with mental illness out of love. You think no one will love you because you're "crazy". You become a pro at being what society deems "normal". You'd be surprised who and how many people are afflicted just as you are. Mental illness shouldn't define you because its not who you are its a condition that you have that can be managed. In the extreme cases you do need to be isolated.

More times than not if you talk things out you can work things out.

Folks will judge because they don't understand but don't worry about them.

Also STOP using the word "crazy", I have to stop it too.

SMILE WITH ME.....................................

You may be wondering how I'm doing today, well, everyday is a process but I'm wonderful. I used to be on meds but I no longer take them. I have a Higher power operating on my behalf, yes God delivered me from major depression. God did is so I don't rely on medicine, which I didn't like taking anyway. He cleared my mind, got rid of a lot I didn't need that was blocking what He had for me. I rely on God to calm me whenever the things around me get a little or a lot wacky. Everyday I work at maintaining my peace. I also don't allow anyone/anything to disrupt it. I'll be damned if I let that happen. In my diagnosis, I also found out I suffered from major depression far longer than I thought but was able to cope because it was only one thing at a time and I often just blocked it out and pushed forward. I was dealing but not resolving anything. Once the load became too much my mind said "Hold up, I didn't sign up for this I'm out!"

My situation may not be as severe as many and my solution my not work for some BUT finding one that works for you is far better than dealing with the turmoil of untreated mental illness!

I shared this because I've come across so many who are suffering who think suicide is the answer or abuse other things trying to black out the pain they really feel. I used to wonder and ask God why me when I was going through. I finally know why. If not me than who? Why not me? God uses us to reach those in ways He knows we can, we often times don't realize it or we fight it but once we accept it lives are changed.

I'm playing my part, accepting my position hoping to save a life.

I pray this helps someone as well as teaches many!


God bless you.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, excellent post filled with truth & reality. Some of this was very personal & I thank you for sharing your experiences. As always, it was inspirational & informative.