Life is full of ups and downs. The unexpected happens, hard times fall upon us, and we go through many trials. We make mistakes that throw us down rough roads, unexpected health problems happen, and sometimes it seems like the bad stuff takes place at once. During these times, it’s hard to see anything positive coming out of the negative,e especially when you’re suffering with mental illness. When you’re feeling sad, all you can see is the bad, but if you look hard enough, you’ll see good things.
I’ve been through a lot in my life. In my elementary and high school years I faced bullying. I was put down continually by my classmates and teachers. I was told I would never be able to do anything on my own because I had a learning disability. Kids from school threw rocks at me in my own yard. Daily I was called a retard, dummy, or stupid. When I tried to make friends, they were turned against me. My teachers assigned students to give me answers on tests.
I slowly slid into depression and stopped talking, yet I pushed myself to persevere. I struggled with my self-esteem and self-worth. I became obsessed with proving everyone wrong in high school. In time I made the merit roll, then the honor roll, and finally I became inducted into the National Honor Society. When I graduated from high school, the principal gave a hidden hero speech about me and I received five scholarships.
Now years later I am writing blog posts for the National Internet Youth and Cyberbullying Taskforce, and I am writing quotes for their cyberbullying social media page. I have written a memoir about being bullied and I’m preparing it for publication. God opened doors for me and helped me use what I’ve been through to help others. Through the Taskforce I am helping spread the word about bullying and the damages it does to a person. I am a part of an organization that helps kids with things I have faced myself.
I hit rock bottom of my depression when my cousin was killed in a car accident and I started college. I began self-injuring regularly, I couldn’t sleep at night, I couldn’t find joy in my life, I got sick continuously, and I became suicidal. While I was at my worst a person I considered a friend abused me, sending me deeper into depression, causing me to have anxiety attacks. I couldn’t keep food down. I recovered for a few years and fell back into depression and into another abusive relationship. I was hospitalized after sticking my hand through a window.
I worked hard to reach recovery. On my road to recovery I found a very kind man who was willing to go to couple therapy with me to learn how to handle my illness. Six months after we met, he asked me to marry him. Now we have been married going on 12 years and he is my world. He takes care of me and spoils me.
I am also writing this blog to help teach people about mental illness and to inspire those who have it to fight for the light. I am also writing about mental illness for the Taskforce blog and I’m writing quotes for the Taskforce mental health social media page.
Then last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within three months I had two major surgeries. Recovery from a mastectomy and hysterectomy was rough. For the mastectomy I had drains that hurt every time I moved, I couldn’t take a shower for two weeks, I couldn’t brush my hair or even sleep lying down in bed. I was exhausted a lot.
The hysterectomy hurt when I stood up, when I climbed up the stairs, and when I walked. My husband had to help me put on my pants, under-garments, and help me in and out of the shower. Before the surgery I went through a painful biopsy. Through the whole process I was given lots of information, I was pricked, probed and cut open. It was rough.
While I was off work, friends brought us meals, sent me cards and gift cards, my job did a fundraiser for me, and family came together to support and help us. I became a part of a very supportive breast cancer group, Linked By Pink, and I wrote a blog post for them. I made new friends through the group. I have started writing about my experience with breast cancer in my blog. My blog has become about recovery from mental illness and breast cancer.
Now I’m struggling with tendonitis and plantar fascists. After going through cancer, another problem is heart breaking. It hurts to stand and to walk. Even though I have another health problem, good things are happening. I got published the National Internet Youth Safety and Cyberbullying Taskforce founder’s book, Change Your life. I have a story about bullying and depression in the book. I was also made assistant to the director of the Taskforce. A writer friend is setting me up with a reporter from channel 12 news in Erie, PA, to talk about my accomplishments. Alex and other members of the Cyberbullying Taskforce are coming to Erie and I will be singing books with Alex. I’ve been helping them find places in Erie for events.
Out of everything bad that I have gone through in my life God has brought something good and has given purpose to my struggles. If you are going through rough times, remember good things will come. God helps us through the rough times and turns them into positive things. Instead of dwelling on the tribulations in your life, think of the good things that will come. If you take the time you might see some sunshine peeking through the raindrops. Our trials teach us, and strengthen us.
Everything I have gone through has led me on new and exciting adventures. They have strengthened me and have helped the light within me to shine brighter with determination.