I don't want to minimize the trauma of cancer, but to state a point that many of us with mental illness struggle with. We are blamed for our problems. We are expected to just get over it or trust God or have more faith. I wish it could be that easy. But it's not. Sometimes mental illness is a hell on earth that cannot be described, much less cured. There is no cure for mental illness. There is no point where one says I will never be depressed, anxious, schizophrenic again. Like diabetes, it is something one learns to live with and hopefully with the right medication and/or other therapies, life can be good, fulfilling, and rewarding.
I haven't posted for two weeks because I had a nervous breakdown of sorts. Two weeks ago I impulsively adopted a cat, thinking I was ready. After four days I realized I was not. I lost sleep and my anxious thoughts ran away with me. I brought it back to the humane society. I then decided I needed a break from volunteering there, and put off fostering for a while. Every time I came to volunteer I cried when I visited the kitties, missing my own and wishing I could take one home. But for some reason I just couldn't emotionally handle it.
I realized I needed help, again. Every few years or so I have a point where I need to change medications, or worse yet, I have a mental breakdown where I need therapy of some sort as well. All my grief that I have experienced the last 15 years flooded back to me. Losing my favorite job due to a lay off, losing my career due to physical limitations and inability to cope, losing my grandparents, losing any hope of dating and marriage, and finally, losing my all-in-one best friend, baby, roomie, and pet.
When Chocolate died I was prepared to adopt again. So when I was not able to, I was reminded of all the things I lost over the last 15 years. I realized I needed to grieve. And I needed to talk to a counselor again, and change medications.
I found a counselor I liked at Pathways Psychological Services, a Christian counseling service, and they referred me to a new psychiatrist. I like both, as the counselor listens to me and affirms my grief, and the psychiatrist asks good questions and explains things very well. I also found a helpful support group through National Alliance on Mental Illness. I also found a great pet support website that also had a book to buy, which I read. I cried a lot while reading it but it helped to finally let those tears fall.
I know there will be those who think it is bad to be on psychotropic medication. I'd like to tell those people to walk a mile in my shoes and see what they think after that. I am tired of judgment. I am tired of narrow-minded people who can easily say get over it or snap out of it. Christians get mental illness too, and it is not always demonic! It is a real disease and I am tired of the stigma. People with mental illness, like any illness or disease, need support, not judgment. I need that too.