Hello dear readers, this is where we begin. Here in the year 2021, I have decided to create a blog about mental health and my thoughts on my own mental health journey. Every journey has a beginning and I think it only fair that I tell you mine.
The year was 2012, my mother had passed a year earlier and I was having some trouble dealing with my emotions at that time. I was barely out of high school and still was looking at what my life was supposed to be like. I was taking a gap year (or two) to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and future. The answer still hadn’t presented itself to me, but to be honest I wasn’t all that concerned in the first place. I had no motivation, mainly due to the phenomenon that was depression. I would sit and play video games all day in an attempt to disengage from the world and my life. I was lost, confused, and alone. I needed help but without the motivation or knowledge and awareness of my mental condition, I was set adrift.
Due to certain unforeseen circumstances, I ended up homeless. I was staying at a transitional living center when it all happened. I was in what they in the mental health field would call a “crisis,” all I knew is that things were getting increasingly worse and I was scared of myself and my own thoughts. I ended up in a mental hospital and I was first diagnosed with bipolar, later it became schizo-effective disorder, but we’ll get to that in time. They gave me medications and the option of going back to my transitional living center, which I did. for a time. I was worried that I would lose my spot and not have a roof over my head if they had me stay longer. The option to stay longer didn’t appeal to me, so they sent me off with some pills and a ton of paperwork with resources listed on them. At the time I wasn’t interested in getting to know others with my diagnosis or really the idea of living with this condition for the rest of my life. I was scared and that fear led me to make that first decision of going back which led to me coming back to the mental hospital and losing my housing at the transitional living center. My situation was precarious. I needed to focus on my mental health and though it took four whole months, I was beginning to get better in a clinical sense; and on my end, there was less crying, less confusion, and less fear. I was discharged, and through rigorous amounts of therapy and different medication regimens, I eventually got to a place where I am currently stable and relatively happy. oh and as for housing, since it was in its own sense a challenge; through the help of social workers I was placed in a crisis house, and through there found semi-permanent housing, and eventually permanent housing that I live in today.
my story isn’t 100% unique, there are many people who have to live with chronic challenges in their mental health. I intend to use my platform to create a safe space for people like me to have critical discussions about mental health and the systems in play that affect us not just on an individual level, but on a social and political level as well. My diagnosis doesn’t define me, but I want to make it true for how the rest of the world sees me as well. The only way I see for that to happen is by making a space for it.