Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

April 18, 2006

Here

I'm here. Thanks for your kind words Shelly, Hannah, and Carrie. I appreciate them more than you know.

Currently, we're dealing. I guess I'm just numb. We have an appointment tomorrow with D, which I am expecting will "shock" me into reacting. Right now, I am doing what I can for Hokie Hubby. He would do the same for me.

The Good
We caught this one early. An expensive cell phone bill I can handle, once. An expensive regular phone bill I can handle, once.

No one (of questionable status) has called the cell phone since we found out.

It seems to be limited to just this isolated incident. Just last month.

It has snapped me out of whatever "funk" I have been in for the last few months. Apparently, I am a rock in a crisis. Yay me.

The Bad
It happened again. That not only shakes my confidence, but Hokie Hubby's as well. I was really enjoying him being "himself" again. So was he.

It brings back all my old insecurities and worries. Something I must work through.

The Ugly
Mental illness is truly the only ugly thing here. Mental illness is mean. It takes no prisoners. It doesn't care how good a person you are or how much you love your family - it just doesn't care. I don't mention our (and I say our because Hokie Hubby and I are a team) battle with mental illness to many because, like it or not, there is a stigma attached to mental illness.

Almost 22% of Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness. That's 1 in 5 Americans. To me, this means if you can say you honestly "don't know anyone with a mental illness" then you either aren't looking/listening very carefully or you are very lucky. It's such a lonely disease. We spend time trying to decide who will "understand" who we can trust. Luckily, we've found some great people along the way. Four teachers (counting my mother) on my mom's team of 8 have a child who deals with some sort of mental illness. That's half!

Depression is becoming more "fashionable". In fact, sometimes I think it has become the new "wonder diagnosis" (just to spite Tom Cruise, I hope).

However, when people start mentioning illnesses like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder that's when the word "crazy" comes into play. I used to throw the word "crazy" around when I saw people who were different than myself. My experiences over the last three years have all but eliminated that word from my vocabulary (in that way).

I guess what I am saying is this:

Until you have "experienced" mental illness personally or even through a loved one, most people can't understand how it rocks whatever foundation you have to the core. Only when you have experienced the helplessness that comes with many of these disorders can you understand the fear, the anger, and the pain associated with it. I applaud anyone who even "attempts" to understand what "we" go through.


I know the details have been sketchy, but that's all I feel comfortable saying right now. I hope you understand, dear readers. But more than that - I hope my experiences can help someone else in the future.

Want to do something, right now? Donate to the Hope Line or your local NAMI organizations.

Be safe. Be well.

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