Sunday, December 21, 2014

two-thousand fourteen

Well this past year has been an interesting one.  Never thought I would be writing some of the things written in this blog.  But here I am, this is my reality.  Some of the 'highlights' are:

3 inpatient hospital stays
3 months in residential care
1 year of therapy, doctors, hospital visits
20+ visits to the ER
2 hospitalizations for Pneumonia
2 bouts on Mono
6 months of missed school

The list goes on.  Haha I'm laughing because this isn't your usual "Year In Review", because it isn't.  The experiences I have had in a 12 month period, are not common occurrences.  They do happen though.  It happens so much more often than you think, some people just hide behind closed doors.  They hide it because it isn't a glamorous lifestyle.  Some have shoe collections and have been to 4 different countries.  People like me, have collections of bracelets and plastic hospital cups, and have been to 4 different hospitals.  It isn't something that the world understands.  The world perceives people with mental health issues to be unstable and something to stay away from.  It is quite the opposite.  Yes we have our unstable moments, but not everyone with a mental health diagnoses is certifiably insane.  We are simply fighting an illness, that is very much mental instead of physical.  We wake up fighting everyday to make it to the next day, or even hour.  We fight voices in our heads telling us we are not good enough, too fat, too ugly, not worthy to live.  To an extent, every person that is born struggles with some form of questioning their self-worth.  When I said the thing about people who have shoe collections and travel the world, that doesn't mean that our life might not look like that too.  Some of us live a 'Secret Life' in the mental health world, and I often find myself to be one of those people.  I would say 75% of the time, I am an open book about my struggles.  I'm only open about it when the situation is one where my story could be encouraging.  Though struggling is not something to be ashamed of, I will hide this side of me in some instances.  Pretend it isn't happening, and post a picture of hanging out with friends, or wearing fancy clothes, or modeling for family pictures.  The truth is, those pictures capture a fraction of a second of our lives.  They don't capture the truth.  They are made to be happy and shiny and to "Put up a good front" to seek favor from others.  I am not ashamed to proclaim Jesus as my Lord, and acknowledge the fact that without his love and mercy, I would never have the courage to share what I do.  I say this to encourage you, whoever you are.  I'm not saying you have to go out and announce on a billboard how much life can completely suck sometimes, ha!  I am saying that if you are struggling in some way, tell people about it.  That's how we work.  As humans, we thrive on interaction and love, among support and empathy.  Do be warned, not everyone will accept your reality.  Heck, even in writing this blog over the past year, some people who were very close to me have created distance, simply because they don't understand or cannot relate.  That's OK.  Share whats going on in your life with those that care to listen, be transparent.  I took a risk in opening my story to share, but I don't regret it one bit.  I get so much encouragement to keep sharing, because it relates to people.  I love that it helps, even just a little bit.  I never want to stop writing, and yes someday the stories will change, and this phase of my life will be yet another chapter in the past.  My writing is not perfect.  Thats the thing, neither is my life.  Think of it as a journal.  No, I don't tell you what I eat for breakfast or what I am wearing today, but every once in a while I share the important things, because thats the story that needs to be heard.  Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas to everyone!!

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