My Story: Living With Mental Illness

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Latter-day Soprano

The first time I can remember contemplating the idea of ending my life, I was eleven years old. I didn’t have a detailed exit plan. It was simply a strong feeling that the world would be a much better place if I wasn’t in it. The idea was shocking, terrifying and sad. “Why did I think that?” As the year progressed, more foreign little dark thoughts would slowly creep in, unexpectedly overwhelming my young brain and then fading away again. We don’t talk about things like that. Even if I’d wanted to tell someone, what words would I use? How could I possibly admit these kind of “bad” thoughts and feelings? What would happen to me if I told? My depression wasn’t something conscious or obvious. It was just something I felt deep down in the murky part of my soul. I was raised in a strongly religious, faith filled home. I believed in God and the power of prayer. So, I prayed morning and night, I attended…

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Yesterday was my 20th wedding anniversary! Yes, it was a big one. But we didn’t celebrate. Yet. Hubby had to work, so we’re doing something special on Saturday, after he’s had a chance to rest. It was still nice. He made beef stew in the crockpot and bought dinner rolls. It was delicious! And there was just enough leftovers for him to take for his lunch. Yeah, it was that good.
As for his cooking for me, well he always cooks. Our family motto is “I sing and he does everything else.” Which is true. He had to. I had been so sick for so long, he brought me back from death’s door. Literally. Twice.
I won’t go into the details, but because of this, we have such a connection. He has always thought that he would have to do the work anyway. And he tells me that he would much rather have me around, even if it’s just to lie around in the bed and smile! Now that’s the treasure in the man!
I also follow the blog of a woman who learned that one of her best friends just died. And my heart breaks for her. When I read of it, my thoughts turned to my best friend and I had to call her and hope she answered her phone, as she often doesn’t.
The phone rang as memories flooded my head. Children riding in the sandrail across the west desert. Cleaning house with the phone tucked under my chin as I talked to her, and she was doing the same thing, and we talked for two hours…after working together all day at Burger King, and her husband wanting to implant phones in our ears so we could talk all the time!
She answered. And we talked again. For a long time. Although 2500 miles lie between us, there is no distance between our hearts. That’s the blessings of connections.