1 day ago
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wow, I am pleased and happy - after four years of blogging I have received my very first blog award for Adventures in Anxiety Land! The award is the "I Choose to Live" award, given by Jen Daisybee at Suicidal No More.
The text describing the award says "Awards will be given to bloggers who have lived through a period of suicidality, due to a mental illness or an addiction or eating disorder (or combination of the above), or other reason, yet chose to fight to stay alive, and combat their thoughts of suicide. The purpose of this is to spread awareness that there is hope for people living with mental health problems and feeling like they have no reason to go on. There is hope, and it's important to hold onto hope. Things do get better with time, and especially with appropriate treatment. The award recipients listed here have chosen, and continue to choose, to deal with their problems, whatever they may be, without giving up. They are resilient and determined."
Or in my case, just plain stubborn, but that works, too.
There was a time before I made this choice. A time when there was still a "Plan B" for when things became unbearable. But I have already borne so much over the years. I finally came to realize that I could go on bearing it. It would be hard. It would suck. But I could do it.
It feels strange to have given up on "Plan B." I remember when having a "Plan B" gave me some relief, knowing I could just check out if things became ... well ... unbearable. But now being determined and committed to living is a new, and better kind of relief. This is a promise, a great vow you make with yourself, that you will not give up on yourself. As I am fond of saying, as we live, options remain. It hurts to live, much worse than those who do not suffer from MI will ever understand. But I've made my promise to myself. My sacred vow. It makes me feel empowered.
And if you don't follow Suicidal No More, give it a look see. Jen Daisybee is the kind of person who offers real, concrete hope for people with MI. Here are some lines she wrote about herself, taken from a recent post. (Go read the full thing, it's amazing.)
I was the young woman who drove her mother's car to the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at top speed and rammed into a guardrail, trying to drive over the edge to die because the voices told her to do so.
I was the young woman who thought she was a Manchurian Candidate with a microchip inside her body that the CIA was using to monitor her whereabouts and control her thoughts. I was the young woman who tried to cut the microchip out of her leg with a broken glass.
I was the young woman who lived in three different homeless shelters at three different times in three different years.
I was the young woman who was hospitalized in psychiatric units more than 25 times in her life.
I was the young woman who thought she had no talents or anything to give to the world, who believed she was worthless, who cut her flesh out of the anger she had at herself.
I am the woman who knows what reality is, who doesn't have delusional thoughts about being people she isn't, who knows who she is, and who remembers what it was like when life was not this good.
I am the woman who graduated with her A.A. degree with honors in 2010 from a college she first attended in 1993.
I am the woman who visits her psychiatrist each month, gets an injection of medication every two weeks, and goes to therapy regularly because she wants to be well and live.
I am the woman who speaks to the police every year during their Crisis Intervention Team trainings and tells them what it's like when the police come to take you away in handcuffs, so they can understand how to approach people in crises.
I am the woman who did an internship last year at the same crisis center where she was a patient seven years ago for months.
I am the woman who spoke at the Southeast Conference on Homelessness and Supportive Housing in 2010, the Directions for Mental Health training conference of 2010, Bayside High School during The Great American Teach-Ins of 2010 and 2011, and other community groups to open up a dialogue about mental illness, in the hopes that she could have a positive impact on at least one person's life.
I am the woman who loves to laugh.
I am the daisy that blossomed in spite of the cement that encased her.
How can these words not inspire us to keep on living!
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