Day 11

H DAY! I am going home!

I am not unhinged

I am not broken

I am not crazy

I do have a chemical imbalance in my brain and at times (not of my choosing) it creates havoc in my life. I can no longer control the timing than I can control Donald Trump.

I belong to a minority group. It really isn’t that marginalised though. If you believe the findings published on The Black Dog Institute, 45% of Australian’s at some point in their life will have a mental illness/episode.

I refer to myself as a member of a minority group because I’m one of the few who openly talk about living with a mental illness. Surprisingly, people who I thought were enlightened and open minded have proven to be fearful of my condition and I have even been advised to keep it on the down low. Let me just say “Fuck that”. Like all minority groups, I am placed in a position where I have to self advocate. To educate, inform and demand change. Where I choose to raise my voice above the din of judgment and denial and those who simply lack the ability or energy to also raise their voice.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed about. In fact I am incredibly proud of my valiant juggling and sometimes struggles to be well and stable. This is a part of who I am and it just means like everyone on this earth I am perfectly flawed. To not talk about it is to deny a very large part of who I am. That there are times when I am incredibly needy and paranoid. Mostly I can rationally talk myself off this ledge and remind myself that it is my self sabotaging brain messing with me. Other times I seek advice from my husband or my mother and they give me the much needed perspective I am not able to give myself. However, there are times when I do misconstrue communication, action or lack of, people’s busyness or plain inability to understand what most of the world still considers a scary condition that should not be talked about.

45% People! It should be talked about. Nearly every second person in the room you’re sitting in will suffer from a mental illness of some sort. Take a look around you. If it’s not them it could be you. Let’s remove the filter of scariness surrounding mental health and accept that it’s a rocky path many will traverse and acceptance and open communication will make it easier for you or your loved one.

T R I G G E R W A R N I N G!

There was a time I had a plan in place to commit suicide. I have lightly referred to this before but never to this extent. It was because there were people gossiping about me on social media. This was nine years ago and I am not even certain the term cyber bullying existed. But cyber bullying from some people who claimed to be my friends nearly saw me leave a devastating legacy for my children to live with. I have since had many discussions with both my psychiatrist and a children’s psychiatrist who all have confirmed that this is something your child will blame themselves for, for the rest of their life. No matter what reason you give them or note you may leave behind, your child will think you left them and that it was their fault. Back then I did not have the presence of mind to consider this. In fact my unwell self sabotaging brain was telling me my family needed a better wife and mother. That they would be better off without my existence. That I was in fact a burden.

Sitting here, packed up and ready to go home I am so so so ecstatically grateful that I received help at the right time and I am still here. My life is full. My family are my everything and I know I too am their everything.

2 thoughts on “Day 11

  1. Laura you never cease to amaze me. Funny how we can go through life and disguise so much of who we are. I really admire your courage to be open and honest about your human flaws. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have anywhere near the number of suicides if people were encouraged to talk openly about their inner demons and accepted by society for or in spite of them.
    Not to mention in your case your tireless advocacy. It’s a shame you couldn’t be at What’s Your Superpower last night. A really good turnout and a number of new faces. It is such a worthwhile initiative for families with an autistic child and I’m proud to be a small part of it.
    Welcome back woman.


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