Mindful Monday – Mental Illness

Today’s Mindfulness Monday is not really quotes on mindfulness, they are mindful quotes on mental health.  There are more quotes than usual, I actually found over 30 that I liked and finally cut it down to these 7.  After each quote I will explain why I chose that particular quote.  I hope you will bare with me, as most of you know I’m working through a mental health crisis of my own, and working on this post has helped me feel not so alone.  ***Please note that this post contains a frank discussion on mental health issues including suicide ideation.

“Beautiful fake smile.

All it takes is a beautiful fake smile

 to hide an injured soul and

they will never notice how broken you really are.”

~Robin Williams

I chose this quote because we I often use a fake smile to get through the day.  Whether it be because of my physical or mental illnesses, that fake smile makes others believe I’m okay, and that makes dealing with the general public, and sometimes even those closest to me, easier.  I don’t have to explain, I don’t have to deal with the awkwardness…..the fake smile, is a shield I use to deflect the judgments from others.  

“Be proud of every step

you take towards stability,

no matter how big or small.”

~Jessica AnnHardy

I have been feeling like all the work I’ve been doing to overcome this crisis has shown little improvement.  I chose this quote because it reminded me that even the smallest steps toward my stability are worth being proud of.

“I’m still me no matter

my mental health”

~Niki McBain

Earlier today I texted a friend how afraid I am that this is my new normal, all the anger, and simply being a bitch all the time.  I’m no longer a nice person.  I told her, “I feel like I’ve lost Wendy”  I chose this quote simply because it reassured me that Wendy is still in there somewhere.

“It’s exhausting to fight a war

inside your head

every single day.”

~Mickie Ann

If you don’t have a mental illness I don’t think you can ever understand this quote, if you do, I doubt I have to explain why I included it.  This constant battle going on in my head is driving me insane….or perhaps I’m insane is why I have the battle in the first place….these are the kind of questions that bombard me all the time lately.  Every… Single….Day

“Surviving a psychiatric crisis is one thing.

Overcoming one is something completely different.”

~Chris Curry

I hope to somehow understand this, and hopefully so will my husband.  Right now we are in survival mode, overcoming it is going to be a long, hard process.  (I’m not sure it will ever happen completely)

“The bravest thing I ever did

was continuing my life

when I wanted to die.”

~Juliette Lewis

Okay, I’m admitting something here so other’s my hear my pain, and will perhaps not feel so alone.  Each day since this crisis began has been a fight for my life.  More than once I’ve thought it would be best if I were not here.  I’m not being selfish, of looking for the easy way out.  I’m hurting the person I love most, over, and over, and over again.  When I’m having the most severe emotions, rage, despair….and the psychosis (auditory hallucinations)  I cannot see that removing myself from this world would hurt him worse, I can only see that I’m causing him so much pain, and at that moment I believe that if I’m wasn’t here it would be better for him…and others I love.  I want to remove myself from the situation.  Actually, that’s exactly it, I am simply trying my hardest to get away from the war inside me, I simply need to escape.  The pain is just too great.  Please do not judge me, if you do, keep it to yourself, my psyche can’t handle it right now.  I am not in danger, my husband and my psychiatrist know about this and I’m being watched….like a child….I hate it.

”You know when you’re in a bad dream

and you’re trying to run, punch, kick, or scream,

 and your body just won’t move?

You open your mouth and nothing comes out.

You feel frozen or in slow motion,

 and no matter how hard you try to fight it,

nothing changes.

That’s how it feels to battle mental illness.”

~Evyenia

When I read this quote I thought….Yes!!  It is often like that.  I feel like I scream and scream and even when I’m making noise it makes no sense.  I’m stuck, I can’t get out.  I just want me back again!  There are so many people who feel like they aren’t themselves after they start their psychiatric medication, especially those who are bipolar I, like me.  I will admit, when I first started my meds I wondered if the changes in my moods were making me less….me.  I was losing part of who I identified as me, but after I was stable for a while I realized that the real me was the stable person.  I no longer had times of extreme mood swings, I no longer did so many dangerous things, I felt more in control.  Yes, I missed being able to pain for days on end, I don’t feel I’ve been as creative, and I miss the times I could read 2-3 books in one day, but I don’t miss buying a car I couldn’t afford, or having sex with someone and not remembering it, or losing days that I don’t remember.  That wasn’t me.  When I’d relapse, which has never been as bad as this crisis, I’d run to my doctor immediately for help.  I didn’t like that feeling at all, I was suddenly not me.  And suddenly after 20+ years, I’m having a severe crisis.  It scares the hell out of me.  I will say, I think I’m better today than I was 2 weeks ago, but I still have a long way to go.

I just want to be Wendy again.

***by the way, the photo above is a self portrait I took a few years ago.  I haven’t been in the mood to take many pictures lately, and I felt this photo was appropriate.  (all right’s reserved)

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12 thoughts on “Mindful Monday – Mental Illness

  1. Wendy — thank you for sharing, open and honestly, the struggle you are dealing with. At each point, the quote then your comments, I was nodding my head. Been there, done that sounds like a trite dismissal, but it’s not. There are people who will recognize their own battles within this post. Know they aren’t alone, that others need to fight every day, for me with every breath, as my mind screams “I want to be numb — physically, emotionally, mentally.”

    For those who don’t have these mental health issues, your post provides a portal through which they can understand better what it feels like to be raging and crying; cycling through “madness.”

    Your thoughts of not wanting to be here are poignant, and you are soul-scrappingly honest about it. But even within this, the old Wendy whispers. Your thoughts turn to Stuart again, with an open heart, that says gone would be worse for him.

    There is so much more I could (you know me), but I will save that for an email. Just let me add that I think this format for mm is excellent. Sometimes the quotes need comment, and using mindfulness Monday to post what you are dealing with, is very appropriate and powerful. I hope you will use mm as a conduit for your thoughts and your quotes. And, as you know, I find looking for the quotes/topic very therapeutic. I hope it helped you.

    Take good care, and know you are loved, cared for and about, and there are hands to hold, arms to hug in the real and virtual worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Lorraine's frilly freudian slip and commented:

    Wendy is very open in this Mindfulness Monday when she talks about her current mental health issues.
    She takes powerful quotes, and relates them to her life experience.
    I came away feeling that I am not alone in my struggles. And encouraged by her strength and resolve.
    You are not alone, either, Wendy. You are gently hugged in a circle of virtual and “solid” friends.

    Like

  3. This post is incredibly honest and thought-provoking, you’ve done brilliantly covering the topic for Mindful Monday! “I’m stuck, I can’t get out. I just want me back again!” – I feel like that with or without my meds, and it’s as disheartening as it is frustrating sometimes.
    How are you doing at the moment, how’s recovery going? Been thinking of you.. I hope you’re okay lovely  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am indescribably happy you are still here.

    I also appreciate so much that you are willing to honestly talk about what you are experiencing so that others can try to understand and that others can see they are not alone. Mental illness is not something to be sugar coated or ignored. It may be hard to talk about sometimes but it is one of those subjects where we have to stop looking the other way.

    Much love to you and Stuart. ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

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