Who needs help?

I’ve previously shared on this site a few quotes from a woman named Glennon Doyle Melton, founder of “Momastery” and author of “Carry On, Warrior”.  I found one more I’d like to pass along:

“People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help”

I think we all have pre-formed images in our minds of what a “helpless” person looks like.  I honestly believe that many people might view me as someone who is fairly put together – in fact, when I’ve confessed my bipolar to people, I often hear, “Really?  I never would have guessed!  You seem so “with it”!”  But, in fact, I’m far from “with it”.  I’m an internal wreck.  I put on a happy face and push myself through my days, hoping to make it to the end of the night without losing myself in my illness, my misery, my dread and fear of what my future holds.  I do it for my kids, because it kills me for them to see me not operating at full capacity.  They need stability and reliability in a mother, and I wear a mask all day that tells the world how together I am, that assures my kids that I can be a good mother.  They know I’m sick, but they also believe I can do everything, and they know that I will will do anything for them.  In truth, I can barely help myself, which leads me to wonder how I’m every going to effectively help them?

When I crawl into bed at night, after my kids are safely tucked in, I lay awake lonely and scared, wondering how I’m every going to get through the next day.  I psyche myself up, hoping to convince myself that if I can get through today, I can get through tomorrow.  It works – sometimes.

But ask for help?  Forget it.  Never.  I publish this post anonymously because I don’t want people I know to find out I’m barely getting by.  I don’t want anyone to learn that I am scraping by mentally.  Would I love for someone to reach out and offer help?  You betcha.  But how will they ever know unless I ask for it?  Because I don’t look like the kind of person who matches the image of someone society pictures as needing help.  So nobody offers.

It’s my own fault.  Don’t ask, don’t tell.  I’m not ashamed of the stigma attached to bipolar.  I’ve rambled on and on to people about bipolar and how important it is to have awareness of mental illnesses.  But not unless I’m asked.  Which brings me back to my original point:  nobody is going to ask because I don’t look like I need help.  Lots of people in my town know I am bipolar.  They just don’t know I suffer from it.  See the difference?

If you have a friend or acquaintance living with mental illness, please reach out.  Ask if you can help.  Chances are, she’s dying to talk to someone.  She’s desperate to be offered assistance, or even just a shoulder to cry on.  But she’s not going to ask.  Not ever.  Believe me, I know.

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Maya Angelou on Doing it Better

I just finished reading Glennon Doyle Melton’s book, “Carry On, Warrior”. It’s loaded with great quotes, but my favorite I found near the end.

As written by Maya Angelou:

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better”.

I LOVE that! And now I also know better. Thank you, Ms. Angelou. And thanks, Glennon, for putting it in a place where I would see it.

“The Missing Year” (as shared from “Momastery”)

My best friend, and fellow fan of “Momastery”, just sent me a link.  She thought I should share it with my husband, from whom I’ve been separated for one year.  One year on Friday, to be exact.  The link is to a story written about a couple who reconciled after one year of having been divorced.  The story is beautiful, and inspires hope for all couples out there who might still share love for each other and just not know how to put back together the pieces.  This story is not meant for me, because in order for this “missing year” concept to work, there has to be love on both sides of the equation.  And my husband no longer loves me.

But I am sharing this story with you, anyway, because it is so lovely.  And I am so envious of the couple who finds their way back to each other after “the missing year”.  I am jealous of the family they get to be again, and I wish with all of my heart I could inject myself into that same story line with exactly the same outcome.  Sadly, I am facing decades of “missing years” for committing a similar crime against my wedding vows.  You see, my beautiful and kind husband has the ability to forgive.  It is the ability to forget that he does not possess.  He simply cannot continue on with me, knowing all of the horrible things I have done over the years.  The years when I was not myself, but bad behavior is still bad behavior and I am unable to convince him otherwise.

I hope you will read this story that I have “borrowed”.  Thank you, “Momastery” and Vanessa Diffenbaugh for bringing me “The Missing Year”.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you that there can be hope for many of you out there.  Try to reclaim that love that used to make you a family.  I truly wish that some positive reconciliations can come from having shared this piece of her story.  There is hope for all of you.

Just not for me.

http://momastery.com/blog/2013/04/17/vanessa-diffenbaugh-and-the-missing-year/

“Everyone has a story to tell”

I’m still reading that new book I quoted yesterday: “Carry On, Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. If you haven’t heard of her, Google her please. She is a woman who battled addiction, eating disorders, depression and several other “life” issues, and one day decided enough was enough. She realized she could not continue on that way and flipped off her old life in favor of moving forward. She started a website called “Momastery” and basically put herself out there for everyone to see, in the hopes that her transparency could help others with similar issues. She is a witty and enjoyable author, and while I’m reading her book, I can almost close my eyes and picture her telling me her story over coffee at the local Starbucks.

Anyway, you may see me quoting her in my posts because she is very truthful and open, and I find myself agreeing with so many of her words. Here’s one paragraph that I think you can all relate to, regardless of what issues you may have:

“If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write. Write as a gift to yourself and others. Everyone has a story to tell. Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the ‘right’ words. It’s about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice. When you write your truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone……If you feel something calling you to write, please refuse to worry about whether you’re good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself”.

Everyone has a story to tell. I like that.

Be Kind

I have just started reading a new book by “Momastery’s” founder Glennon Doyle Melton. The book is “Carry On, Warrior” and I didn’t even reach the Table of Contents before I found an excerpt I wanted to share. It is a quote by Rev. John Watson that reminded me I am not alone. I’m not the only person with problems, even though it often feels that way.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

Cool.