I found this video today. I usually watch Momversation videos because I am with children a lot, I enjoy the panelists, and it's just a really well-done site. This video hit home.
I feel I can never do enough for depression and mental illness. Mental illness is horrible. I've said this before, but I have very little trouble living my life with my physical illnesses - my cystic fibrosis and my diabetes (not to mention the fibromyalgia, endometriosis, chronic migraines and something I'm sure I'm forgetting). I really don't mind them so much. I have to take medicine and do treatments, but those are okay. Sometimes I get angry or sad because this is the way my life is, but for the most part, I accept it. When I am not sufficiently medicated for my mental illnesses (PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.) I am a complete mess. It's hard to put into words the difference between physical and mental illness, but I'm trying. Mental illness is all-consuming. You can't escape. I can escape or be distracted from thinking about my physical illness, but the mental illness takes over your brain and is just there. For me, the only escape is sleep.
It's no secret I'm working on a book, and these issues are some of what is keeping me from finishing it. Cystic Fibrosis is a huge part of my life. It has shaped me and my family, but that is not the only illness I have. I consider my other physical illesses minor - not so life-shaping. Many of them are related to my CF. But the mental illness. I don't know where it came from. I don't know why I have it. And sometimes, I don't know what to do with it. Do I tell people? Do I let people know I'm the girl with cystic fibrosis who is also pretty mentally ill? But I'm medicated! I'm okay!
But the pain from the mental illness is still a memory and I still understand what it is like. Do I make this a secondary focus of my book? After all, I have had to learn to live with these mental illnesses as well. I've had to get through them to get where I am now. Do I totally re-shape my book to include these? Maybe. I could be on my way to writing the "War and Peace" of surviving medical ailments. Maybe I need an editor.
In anycase, go watch this video. It's good.
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