Sometimes It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

That’s been my experience.

I wrote yesterday about a particularly challenging time I’ve been having with my mental illness.

Yesterday was a prime example of how things got worse, and how they’re now a bit better.

But, what does better look like?

“Better“ is not wanting to call it quits.

“Better” is holding out hope that things will continue to improve.

And “better” is having gratitude for doing (and having done) the things that perpetuate a good health experience.

Because somewhere along the line, I made some choices.

Either through my own volition or through coercion—it doesn’t matter.

The important thing is that I made the decision to take my medications.

And, that means everything to having somewhat of a life.

In all fairness, I should be either dead or institutionalized.

Thus, my gratitude extends to my decision to be on my psychiatric medications.

What Mental Illness Does To Those Who Have It

I’m coming off a particularly challenging time with my mental illness.

What I’m going through is cyclical.

And, the worst of it probably took place today.

The raw emotion I was going to use to write this post has slipped away, which is good, because that means things are on the upswing.

Now, I’m not sharing this information to garner attention, but to bring about awareness, so please don’t assume anything negative, or take things in a negative fashion.

In general, living every day with mental illness is difficult, with days like today taking the cake.

On those days that do take the cake, I want to be all but dead.

The challenge is not will I hurt myself today, it’s how long will it take for certain particular fears surrounding my suicidal thinking, to dissipate.

The fears I speak of are, “am I strong enough to withstand what I’m going through?”

And gratefully, I am. Or at least I tell myself that I am.

And, in any event, I have been. 🙂

All mental illness is bad, and anyone who calls it quits has my understanding, but I myself, want to be helpful.

I know (as do many of my readers) what those toughest days look and feel like.

So, the point of this post…

1) You are not alone. You never know what others are going through.

2) I get it. I’m someone who lives it.

3) There is help available. In the U.S., you can call a hotline (800-273-8255).

Outside of this, I hope everyone has a good day today!

A Reflection On My Past Attempts At Suicide

Until recently, I could not grasp the consequences of the pain I was going through the three times I tried to end my life, 20 years ago.

I couldn’t even categorize my attempts as “suicide attempts” until lately.

It has taken me most of those 20 years to get clarity on what it would have meant, had my actions resulted in something I seemingly wanted at the time.

What happened:

Three different times following three different hospitalizations (throughout one summer, during the early days of my deterioration, before I got the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis), I tried to get out of a moving vehicle.

One time, I even took the wheel of my dad’s car (thankfully, not hurting any of us), and totaled the vehicle. I was then rushed to the hospital—this time by ambulance.

I don’t ever want to experience that kind of helplessness again. I do experience a lot of hopelessness—but helplessness—no thank you!

And, now:

I’d like to think that today I’ve built up a pretty good set of coping skills.

Nonetheless, schizoaffective disorder has quite a hold on my life.

The illness and the side effects of the meds, make normal living a kind of challenge I have not been able to overcome.

So, I just do my best, which looks different—depending on the day.

It’s always one day at a time, with an eye towards building up my resilience!

I still think a lot about death, which is different than being actively suicidal.

Part of what was so troubling for me 20 years ago, was dealing with what severe mental illness was going to mean for me and my future.

A lot of what I dealt with then, and from time to time, now, are the stages of grief.

How about you?

Please share some of how you cope with adversity and your illness-related challenges.

(I appreciate the dialogue.)