Mental Illness, Madness, and Moms

21Apr13

I’m standing on a soapbox because I’m angry. I’ve seen it over and over: a mother trying to get help for her mental health issues while family members punish her like she’s less-than, selfish, or unfit. Instead of working with them, they take away their kids, which only make matters worse.

Being fit means getting help. Period. And I can tell you from personal experience that seeking help feels like you’re jumping of a god damn cliff. It’s hard enough to make that leap, to wonder what will be there after you free fall into the unknown. And the truth is, it’s a long, slow process that is ever-changing and constant. Dealing with mental health issues is a full-time job.

I remember when I started this blog, I had a commenter write some pretty scathing things about my parenting because I had a suicide attempt. That it was “fashionable” and “selfish” to be mentally ill. (I even hate that word!) A flurry of folks came out in my defense. When it comes to understanding a disease, small minds, stereotypes and myths shouldn’t come into play. But sadly, they do.

I guess the only thing to do is keep talking about it, to keep spilling out the stories about what it’s like to be, in my case, bipolar. What it’s like to struggle. What it feels like when I succeed. And being honest about my anger is a good place to start…

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8 Responses to “Mental Illness, Madness, and Moms”

  1. 1 Candace

    fuck the plebians, taking care of mom is taking care of kids. People are wasting time judging others. For christ sakes the there’s a garbage pile practically the size of effin texas floating in the pacific and people judge you? Practicing compassion I guess takes more work. People judge because they’re afraid. So I guess every week is be kind to dumb animals (self included) week. Besides I know for a fact your kids are great and you and Shen have done an extremely admirable job, one that should make you enormously proud.

    • Yeah, it was a crazy conversation. I just see it over and over again, a mom getting help and someone punishing her for it. And yea, my kids are great! Thanks for saying so…

  2. Agreed! When a mum makes the decision to help herself it is because she cares what happens to her children. It is unfair that people are so judgmental.

  3. As my mother often said, ‘If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’. It… was a Southernism, hence the rabid abuse of English. However, it has definitely been my approach to things for the sake of the sanity of all three of us.

  4. Yes, people seem to think we want to be this way. We must just like the attention. I want them to bend over so I can see how far these steel toe boots can fit up… well you know where.

  5. You go, girlfriend. You are strong and sound.

  6. 8 BehindMyBooks

    So much agreement, and anger. People are morons.


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