Being a mom with mental illness was a difficult sentiment for me. I found out I was pregnant and immediately stopped going to therapy. My Psychiatrist and Psychologist were concerned, while I was adamant that I was okay and I would continue to be okay.
In my mind at that time I just did not want to let him win. I wanted to prove something, to myself and to everyone else. I needed to prove that I was stronger than any of the circumstances that lead me on the path that I was currently walking.
I was tired of letting him control my life, I was tired of mental illness creeping in and taking control of me. I was tired of not sleeping, I was tired of self-injury, I was tired of having trust issues, I was tired of…..well to be completely honest, I was tired of being me.
So I decided to try to be someone else. Someone without mental illness.
At first I tried to pretend that I was okay, but inside I was struggling and my mind was in chaos. I hid things for a long time, or at least tried to. But sometimes it was impossible to hide, things were obvious.
I would have melt downs. Like some child having a tantrum. After it was over and I had time to think, I would be embarrassed. I hated how I felt, I hated the words that I spoke.
More than once in my life I wondered what was wrong with me. I thought I could just move on, forget the past and be a good mom. But by suppressing everything I was getting sicker and I was not being the mom or wife that I wanted to be.
Inside I knew I was messed up. But I was trying not to show it. I became the master of deception. But who was I really deceiving?
I pretended that I was “normal”. I avoided the nagging voice in my head that was telling me something was wrong, that nothing had changed, that I was still dealing with mental illness.
My conscious mind was beginning to not be so quiet. I tried to suppress it, I kept pushing it deeper and deeper inside me, telling myself that I was fine.
But I wasn’t.
And I was scared because it no longer was just me that was affected by my mental illness. I was married and I had children, and everything I did not only affected me, but my entire family was affected.
Eventually, I was unable to fight it any longer. I needed help, and I needed it now. I was hospitalized for 5 ½ weeks. Therapy was mandatory. Medication became a life line.
And I fought, fiercely fought to become a better person. I spent over a year walking on egg shells, still trying to pretend that I was not sick. But fighting a fight within myself that I never thought I could win.
But even though I thought I couldn’t win, I had to continue to fight, because I was fighting for them…for my family.