I’ll talk about my weight loss progress another day, perhaps tomorrow. I want to point out that Confessions is about 2 journeys for me. My weight is a major concern but deterioration from mental illness scares me more. This battle has to be fought. It has to be won because unless it is, what else do I have? Where will I end up if every demon I’m fighting takes over? What will be the fate of my children?
Miriam Carey and Aaron Alexis. Do you know them? Are you sure? Yes, you may know their names as topics in current events, but do you know their stories? Can you relate? Is there someone in your family not getting the help they need for their mental illness? Do you know the signs of mental illness? Are you ignoring the signs? Are you in denial? Is that denial allowing you to stigmatize mental illness? Are you perpetuating the thoughts of your culture when it comes to “crazy”?
I am Miriam Carey. I am a battle or two lost before I am at my breaking point. I read Miriam’s story and grieved for her and her family. I remembered my medication tonight.
Mental illness is a very real condition and a sickness. It is contagious in the sense that without treatment it affects everyone around an individual.
My “cough and sniffle” may be uncontrollable rage.
My “stomach flu” may be impulsive and dangerous behavior.
My “fever” may be a siege on the Capitol, a shootout in the Navy Yard.
Mental illness is contagious yet treatable. I took my meds tonight because I felt the sickness spreading in me like a cancer at one time. When I forget my medication, or go for long periods of time untreated, the world is cold and I cannot cope. I take my medication because I am Miriam.
We can lobby for better gun control, and whatever the hell else we want to blame these tragedies on, but this is ridiculous. I am livid because yet another individual has lost their life and I have yet to hear decision makers say, “Let’s make access to quality mental health care a priority.”
I have yet to see an aggressive implementation of educational material or programs to assist family members and individuals deal with mental health. A pamphlet here and there is not going to cut it. Advertising the number for Crisis Intervention every now and then is not going to cut it. Making people feel less than human and offering crappy care is not going to cut it.
Are you able to identify the signs of a mental break in yourself or a family member? Do you know what a manic episode is? Would you be able to stop your relative from being the perpetrator of the next mass shooting? Better yet, would you have the ability to get the help you or a family member needed before it came to a major tragedy? Probably not.
I don’t want to make this post too long but here’s a link. This is the story of my latest attempt to get the help I need.
I started Confessions as a public journal. I want to share this journey in hopes that someone else will read and take control of their lives.