I’ve been dealing with mental illness for as long as I can remember. Not only my own, but my mothers as well. She is such an amazing woman, but she struggles with Bipolar Schizophrenia. The hardest part is remembering what she was like before it all fell apart. Remembering the woman she is aside from her mental illness. The saddest part is watching someone you love be locked inside their own mind struggling to fight their demons. When I was in middle school I started struggling with depression. I didn’t know it at the time but looking back it’s so clear to me. This was around the time that my mom first started really struggling with mental illness and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. At the time they did not diagnose her with schizophrenia, although she showed severe paranoid schizophrenic tendencies.
I was so young; I didn’t know what was going on with her. All I knew is that my mom was constantly fighting with my step dad and my room was right next to theirs. My step dad didn’t know what was happening or how to handle the situation either. They fought constantly and I blamed my mom, she always seemed to be picking a fight with him about something. I lashed out at her a lot during that time: I started battling my own depression in middle school as well. I was fighting a lot of my own demons that had caught up to me.
I look back at that time and I feel horrible guilt for the added weight I put on my mom. I imagine the way she felt, and it kills me to remember how I treated her. I’ve apologized so many times since then. I’ve told her how much I love her and how great of a Mom she is and always has been. I tell how how much I appreciate everything she’s done for me. It’s never enough, in my opinion, I just want to hug her and love her through it all.
Watching someone you love and admire go through a mental breakdown is devastating. Watching them crumble and not being able to save them… it’s so unbelievably heartbreaking.
This is just a small window into my world.
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