I feel as though I live a life of taboo. What do I mean? Well, there are two significant facts about me that in our society are taboo to talk about, or at least have been in the past. My hope is in the coming years they are talked about as often as the weather. My first taboo, infant loss. No one wants to talk or hear about infants dying. My second taboo, mental illness. With mental illness I think its not talked about often because, like I've said before, it's a lot harder to see as opposed to a physical disability but make no mistake, mental illness is a form of disability. It can be life limiting and cause serious harm. The reason I talk about my struggles with life as because I want both of these subjects to be talked about, I don't want there to be anymore stigmas. I want people to not feel so alone or scared, left out in the dark to fend for themselves. I want people to know the real, raw and honest truth about living after loss and living with a mental illness. I don't want it to be sugar coated because people need to know.
It's been a few weeks now since I started my anxiety meds and I have adjusted well to the Zoloft. The Prozac was horrible for me, it did not like me nor did I like it. I had significant side effects from it but the Zoloft has been great. It almost makes me feel like the old me. As much as I still have hard days, as much as I still struggle, it has given me hope. It has let me enjoy moments in my life that I may have not been able to enjoy had it not been for the medication. I know for the longest time I tried without it. It's not that I felt ashamed to go on it, I just didn't want to give right in, but in the end I recognized that I needed it. Will I be on it for life? I don't know, but what I do know is that there is a medication for me in case I do need it. I don't intend on being on it forever, I do hope the work through the trauma program will be what I need, but to know the option is there takes the pressure off.
This past weekend we went to the Santa Claus parade and headed out to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree. A few weeks ago I dreaded the thought of these events, hell, I didn't even want a tree but I was going to force myself to do it anyways for Bee and Stephen. But, this weekend I actually had a really nice time. I enjoyed every aspect of this weekend, even as hard as cutting down, carrying and setting up a real tree is! I enjoyed it, I smiled, I felt relaxed, I felt love and maybe some happiness. Okay maybe not happiness yet, but contentment.
Then Bee got sick and in the past I would have had a panic attack (especially at her vomiting) but I didn't. I've dealt with it the best I could and she's on the mend. It's big and small events that I see the change in me. Even going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes may not seem like a lot to the normal person, but it was a huge step for me. The fact that I am no longer laying on the couch, that even as exhausted as I am I still find excitement in doing things, I see the change and it makes me want to work harder.
I do live with a mental illness but I wont let it define who I am. I will fight for my life and the life of others. People need to know that is okay to talk about these stigmas, people need to feel the love and support around these stigmas like I have. It's the reason behind this blog, to connect others, to reach out and let them know they are not alone and that it's not easy but its liveable.