I Am Not My Mental Illness

 

Rise

Having a mental illness does not mean I am incapable.  I have been through many trials in my life, and with each trial I have pushed myself up and made myself stronger.  I have never crumbled, and I never will.

The setbacks are just that – setbacks.  They do not own who I am.  In fact, they have made me the strong capable woman I am.

I have raised three children with such opposition and yet the children have become bright stars.  They are capable young adults and successful. They are compassionate , loving, and smart adults.

I may not have paid for all of their colleges, but I was the one pushing them into college and doing all of the financial paperwork.  I believe that I have guided them to be able to do more than I was ever able to do.  I see this as an accomplishment. During this time, I was still in the process of paying off my own school loans and feeding three growing children.

I raised my children starting as a teenager.  So when I went to college, I was twenty-four years old with a nine-year old, seven-year old, and a five-year old child.  And I achieved a lot in the process.  I was successful.

I had an emotionally turbulent relationship with my ex-husband, who was also very loud and yelled before he thought, yet I was able to keep my family intact.  The children were always my main priority.  I kept them safe.

I had a complete psychotic breakdown due to a traumatic event that probably brought about the Bipolar to emerge in the first place.  The children were young; one, three, and five.  Yet I didn’t allow this to keep me down.  I fought hard to be able to raise the children so they could live life to their fullest potential.    They needed me.

It may even be a concept some may not be able to understand, but I had a Last Will and Testament made up when I was in my twenties that stated that if for any reason anything happened to me, my wish was to have my parents raise the children, and not their father.  My mother and father kept this document in their safe , and I found it once again just recently after my mother died.  The children’s safety and emotional well-being were always my main concern.

So I have a mental illness.  But believe me, nobody should underestimate the capability and strength that I can obtain and I know that I have.  I can do what is necessary when it is needed.  Perhaps I need supports at times, like any other individual may need at some point, but I always try to make decisions based on doing the best that I can, and protecting those that I love.

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