A bunch of things having been going through my mind the last couple days. So, I guess this post will be a mishmash of them. My emotional state has been one of sadness and worry, and trying to push myself through the tiredness and apathy.
First, I want to say that I appreciate the Doctors, Nurses, Case Managers and all caregivers in the Medical and Mental Health Networks. My last post was about the ineffectiveness of the "system" but that should not be misconstrued as against the wonderful people who work within it. In many cases these organizations and people are non-profits or State run. Funding from the Federal level is miniscule and "entitlement" programs are the first to be cut. When the burden falls to the State, as with Medicaid and the States are in trouble (as they are now)..... It all leads to the programs being notoriously underfunded and understaffed; the people working with little at very low pay.
When you consider where to put your charitable contributions, please consider non-profit mental health providers and support systems.
Something else that is bothering me is having given so much detail (or even talking at all) about Beth's issues in this blog. She is a grown woman and putting the concerns of her life out there leaves me conflicted. How do you erase stigma and the problems of the mental health system without talking about them? It is probably more appropriate for me to speak of my issues here, but our lives are interwoven, of course, and my day to day emotional issues are caught up in hers.
It's taken me (what?) 3 or 4 days to get back here to post again. As usual with me, the initial excitement of the "Minds on the Edge" program gave way fear, insecurity, and doubt.... all the reasons why I can't, shouldn't, or don't want to be involved with anything.
Since I made the decision to go on Social Security Disability because of my mental health issues a few years ago, I have just given up on life. The motivation to do anything lasts little more than 5 minutes. The label of "Disabled" because of mental illness threw me into an even deeper depression of the worthlessness of me and my life. My mind was constantly filled with the failures of my life. Since that time, my daily chore has been to find ways to silence those voices and find things that could make me believe in myself and life again.
I suppose I haven't done very well with that either. To stop the negative and critical voices I find past-times that use my mind in other ways; things that others might consider wasted time, I suppose. I work jigsaw puzzles, play games on the computer, and do what I can around the house.
I've tried to look at my own health issues: years of smoking, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating habits that have compounded to being overweight, unable to breathe, and the inability to do much of anything physically - walking through the grocery store leaves me short of breath and exhausted.
My embarrassment over it all has made me a recluse. On a day to day, person to person, basis I have only my husband and sometimes Beth and the boys. A few times I've joined online communities but oftentimes those relationships feel anything but "real" or too far removed from my day to day reality.
At the moment, I'm back on Facebook after my son asked me to join so we could share pics, etc. And I'm blogging here, hoping to (what?) offer some insight, I guess, to those who don't know about mental illness; hoping to increase the world's empathy rather than its apathy.
I don't know how much time I have left and I don't know how effectively I will use that time. Like all mothers, a major concern of my life is for the quality of Beth's life, now and when I'm gone. And so, I'm doing what I can, here, and praying it's the right thing to do.