You Don’t Have to Live Like This

mental healthThis post is for the lonely and low ladies out there. My struggles with mental health, my journey to spirituality and my curiosity of the symbiotic reliance of mind and body has led me into strange places, health food stores, yoga retreats, meditation, therapy and finally to a doctor and medication.

Yeah, I said it. I’M MEDICATED!

When I finally mustered up the courage to say that I was suicidal, it was to an openminded friend who happens to be an RN. She looked at me dead in the face and said, “You don’t have to live like this sister.”

I have been exhausted and burdened with guilt for years. Throughout my 20’s, I explored ways to settle my thoughts. I had temporary help with organized religion, but I am at peace with my existential human experience and demise. That wasn’t quite it. So, I meditated instead. I met a wonderful community of people. Perhaps my mind was too clouded in consumerism, social media, television, and superficial problems. Yes, but should that make me want to drive off the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge while fantasizing about how long it would take for the gators to get me and my family to find me?

When I quiet my mind, it only leaves a vast space for intrusive thoughts. So, I got a hobby. Now I feed, read, and talk to the backyard birds, but I still would fantasize about hurting myself. Finally, after staring at a blunt knife, while cutting an apple one day, I thought about what my dear friend had said.

I gained the courage to talk to my doctor. It was very hard. I shook. Before walking in, I sat in the parking lot staring off, trying to rationalize with myself. “No one even knows how crazy you are. You have it together.”

And that’s the point I am getting at. Let people say what they want about needing medication. Let them suggest to you all the things you have already tried. Those are the people who are fortunate enough not to understand. I have had friends and family shame me for the decision that my medical care provider and myself have determined to be my next step. I believe these people do it out of concern, and they do not know how difficult it is just to survive some days. Regardless, don’t listen to them.

I knew that I had done all the I could do to help myself. I needed a professional. Today, I am on an SSRI. I am thriving. The sun is shining brighter. Seriously. My doctor told me that there are a lot of moms out there really struggling who are too scared to open up. They are walking around, barely holding it together. It does not help that when we do open up, we are invalidated with compliments. “You seem so organized.” “But are you really that anxious?” Exactly! It takes up a lot of energy to rally up all our roles, that we play throughout the day: Mother, Employee, Wife, Daughter, Caretaker.

We are responsible for our physical and mental health. As a mother, if you are feeling suicidal, are having intrusive thoughts, or have been panicking internally for years, you don’t have to live like this sister!

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-273-8255

About Michelle


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