Behind Krista's Mind

I am a mother. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am a fighter.

I often ask myself:
How can we convince every depressed person out there that life is worth living?
How can we convince every mentally diseased mind that life is worth living even when it really, really, really feels like it’s not...
When your mind tells you to jump off a bridge...
When you feel ashamed of being a burden to all who know you…
When the thought of death feels like complete freedom and dying almost feels refreshing...
How do you tell your friends and family that you want to die?
How do we get past the embarrassment and the shame and the guilt of depression?
How do we stop blaming those who die by suicide?
How do we prevent suicide?

We can start here. The "Behind My Mind Campaign" is such a wonderful way to share stories and spread awareness, information, knowledge, love, support and encouragement.
The world needs this, because generations to come need this.

I want my daughter to grow up in a world that accepts those who aren’t well. I want her to feel comfortable expressing her emotions, even when they are out of control. I don’t want her to inherit this illness, but I want to be prepared. I want her to be a fighter too. I want to be the person for her that I needed when I was younger. I want her to grow up surrounded by people who understand. I want the world to understand, even though they might never understand.

I wish the world would understand that it’s okay to admit to people that you’re not doing well. I’ve decided to share my struggles to shed some light on how real mental illness can be, and how you can still live a life worth living, in the midst of all the struggles.

Sharing this with you all is a scary thing for me, but it will have been worth it if it leads to even just one person to believe in that light you see from the bottom of the muddy pit that I felt so lost in myself. I’m living proof that you can overcome the illness and live a healthy, happy life. I’m living proof that there are ways to heal, as long as you are willing to fight.

I work a typical 9-5 office job. I'm a full time single mom. I drive my daughter to hockey on weekends. I binge watch shows on Netflix. I’m a 5 star Uber driver. I attempt to meal-prep. I live an average life.

I also take 3 pills daily to balance the chemicals in my brain.
But I fight and I survive. I live.

This is my story:

In 2018, I had crashed, and I was in a deep, dark muddy pit. I had to fight.

I had to battle to stay alive. I had to convince myself that I need to live. I would go to bed at night, afraid of the nightmares to come. I had gone through the cycle of terrible, terrible depression. I have picked myself up countless times, only to fall down again and again. That's the thing about mental illness. It's hard to see, until it's inside your own head. The highs and lows. The lack of stability. The mania. The chaos. And the destruction.

My mind took over, and during those very dark months of my life, all I could think about was dying. I laid in bed. I didn’t do laundry. I didn’t do dishes. I didn’t cook. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t see my family or my friends. I treated people poorly. I tried to numb the pain and I crashed.

I had hit rock bottom in a deep, muddy pit.

My friends and family would check in on regularly. My brother would text me daily to check in on me. For a short while he would even check in on me hourly to ensure I was okay. Therapy helped. Talking helped. Knowing I had an entire village cheering for me helped. Knowing I wasn’t alone helped. Meeting strangers who also struggle helped. The bonds and friendships built with those strangers helped. Because I wasn’t alone.

I knew I needed to get out of that muddy pit, but I wasn’t sure how.

I wanted my life to be better than it was. I needed to get out of that pit. I fought. I worked with the doctors, the social workers and the psychiatrists.

Finally, I had answers. I felt relieved. There was an answer to all this madness.

I was diagnosed with severe depression, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder: type 2.
And I felt relieved. I remember hearing the words, and the weight lifting off my shoulders and it was the strangest feeling. I was happy to be diagnosed because I was happy to have answers. Now that we had the problem, we could finally work towards a solution.

We worked together to find the perfect "cocktail" of medications that work for me. I completed a 7 week group based therapy program at a local mental health hospital. I completed 18 months of therapy.

When I first started going to therapy, my doctor told me how lucky I am. Can you imagine that? My world was falling apart. My mind told me I was better off dead. And I was told how lucky I am.

I never truly realized the truth in those words until much later.

But here I am, telling the world how lucky I am.
I am lucky. Because I'm here to tell my story.
And now I’m attempting to be a light for those who are in that muddy pit. I am trying to be the hand reaching down to help get out. Because life is so much better up here.

There are still bad days, but not as many.

To all the people out there who are battling: keep fighting the fight. Even when your mind tells you otherwise. Find the light. Just like the sunflowers do. 🌻

 

Krista D.

Exeter, Ontario

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