Being a Voice in the Dark

Good morning my friends. I apologize for the lack of content; I was in the hospital, getting medicine straightened out. Luckily, I got out yesterday and am doing well. Although, sleep is not yet back to normal; I was up at 3 a.m.

So, I am home for about a day now and am starting to feel the old feelings of shame and disappointment with myself and worrying about whether or not people will still accept me. I worry that I have disappointed them and that they will not like me and that they will drop me like a hot rock.

Hmmm… Where does this come from?

When I was in grad school, I had a doctor refuse to treat me after multiple hospitalizations. He said that I was a “drain” on the university health services. I was in tears and unable to find another doctor in time to avoid running out of medicine. He referred me to intensive outpatient, which declared me as not needing that many resources and they denied me entrance to their program. So, without a doctor and without meds, I ended up back in the hospital. I soon moved home with my parents and finished my degree two years later from a distance education program at the University.

Needless to say, I was scarred. To this day, I am terrified of losing a treatment team due to a hospitalization. I also lost friends when hospitalized. Some people do not know how to cope with mental illness and my forays into madness were difficult enough for myself and my family to deal with. Friends fell by the wayside and stopped calling, stopped responding to texts. It sucked.

Now, I have a good support system and good friends and, yet, I am still terrified. I feel as though every time I go into the hospital, my whole world will fall apart. I experience a deep sense of shame and regret and wonder whether people really care about me as a person, or only like my pithy sense of humor and ability to cuss in three languages. I struggle believing that people really care.

I am blessed to have people who care so much about me, but the bottom can fall out at anytime and I live in fear of losing everything due to my mental illness. I actually sat in my room and cried today because I felt so guilty about saving my own life. I just wondered whether trying to avoid suicide was worth the shame and humiliation of enduring another hospitalization and how people might perceive my strength.

It was worth it. Life is hard, but I am not ready to die.

I came home after 8 days and my family welcomed me with open arms and my dog wouldn’t leave my side. My parents even cleaned my room before I came home; talk about dedication to the cause.

While I was there, I met some nice people and learned that I cannot always control my illness, but that I can do many things (most of which I was already doing) to help myself cope better with it. Really what I needed was a safe place, rest, and a medication adjustment. I am truly doing the best that I can and staying alive and finding reasons to live is sometimes the most difficult thing a person can do.

I am a work-in-progress and God, for some reason, still has a purpose for me. Maybe to be a good Auntie to my nieces and nephews. Maybe to make people laugh. Maybe to remind others that the mentally ill are human too.

My main goal in life is to be a voice in the dark for others. I just need to listen to my own voice and let others in on my dark times, so they can help me.


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