"The hardest thing I have had to deal with in my life up until this point has been my mental health struggle. It affects every single thing I do. All day, every day. From something as simple as waking up in the morning, to going out with friends, it is always present. I have struggled since I was very young. I remain on medication and seek therapy as these both in combination have helped immensely in continuing my healthy fight against this very real issue, that so many of us endure.
Mental illness is such a common thing that a lot of people suffer from. It is something that is so very important to discuss but so many people struggle in silence because of the stigma surrounding it.
The way I would describe myself to another person is this: I am a mom of two of the most amazing boys in the entire world. I am a great friend, I enjoy the little things in life and wish everyone the best, but I struggle. At times I feel so sad that I can't breathe. My anxiety has limited me to so many things over the years I could not even count if I tried. My OCD and PTSD has held me back from accomplishing my dreams, time and time again, but I will never give up. I will never allow it to take over me. I will continue to stay strong and fight my fight as best I can while appreciating even the smallest of accomplishments. I love life. I love my small circle of incredible people who make it so great. I will always stay positive no matter how hard it gets because the only thing you can do is your best. Some may say that having two young boys and having to deal with mental health makes for an unsafe and unhealthy environment. But my children are my #1. Hands down they are the most important people in my life. They come first before anything else. My Bipolar is a part of me, and so are they. At times I have had to separate how I am feeling inside my head, and how I handle everyday life, and my kids are very smart little boys, I'm sure they are aware of my struggle. I'm sure because I've told them.
My kids know that mommy sometimes has a hard time with everyday activities, such as driving, getting things done on time, and even something as simple as being around a group of people. However in saying that, my children have also been taught that not everyone is the same, that every single person is different, and that is okay. My kids have been raised to treat everyone as equals, no matter their skin colour, the people they choose to love, or what they are going through. They are taught that everyone is fighting a fight that they know nothing about, and that it is always important to stay kind. My kids know 100% that they are loved, and accepted by me no matter what life brings our way, good or bad. Having my boys around has helped me grow into the person I know I was meant to be. They bring such joy to my life every single moment of every single day. The amount of love I have in my heart for them grows bigger each day, and leaves me so excited about what our future together will bring.
I have been asked before if I worry about their mental health in the future because it's been known that certain conditions are said to be hereditary. My advice is to believe in yourself, live your life, day to day. Remain in the moment and don't focus on what could be, instead stay optimistic. We cannot control our futures or the futures of the ones we love.
Our lives have been predetermined by fate, or God, or by whomever or whatever you believe in. Encounter struggles as they come, but know that you cannot control things that have already been chosen for you. In saying this I will use my brother as a great example. My little brother has always been my very best friend. I often thought of us like twins because growing up we were so close, that if he felt the pain I felt pain. As we've become adults this has never changed. My brother and I are still extremely close. Over the past several years my brother has struggled a great deal with several unfortunate events that have come his way. Watching someone you care about so deeply endure some of the most difficult things in life is never easy. I often find myself contemplating what if. What if things were different, what if I did something to later be confronted by it, and so on. In moments like this I need to be reminded that everyone's life is unique, and no matter how hard I fight to keep my little brother safe and protected, it's inevitably not up to me. I find comfort in that knowing that his life is his own, and just like my children, I could not control his future no matter how hard I tried.
Love your family, remain positive, and enjoy life to the fullest. Don't have regrets, because every choice you've made has helped shape you into the person you are today. Even with its up and downs and unpredictable, it's the only life you get, so make the most of it."