I Speak for My Mother With No Shame.
Posted July 2, 2012on:
My name is Rae, and I have No Shame. I am the daughter of a woman who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I didn’t know this officially until years later but I remember seeing self-help books near my mother’s side of the bed. I always wondered why but it was years before I heard stories of her past. My mother had a rough childhood that carried with her and at some point in time she began self-medicating. She spent time in and out of hospitals to deal with her addictions but I believe in my heart of hearts that her underlying mental illness wasn’t treated very well. At one point she was put on Lithium and I remember that she didn’t want to take it because it made her mind foggy.
My mother was my idol. She would sit up with me late at night while the house was asleep and just TALK. Anything that I could think of she would listen and make me laugh. It hurt me to my core when she wasn’t available physically or mentally. I started retreating into a shell when I got to high school and I felt like I spent more time without than with her. As a family, we found it difficult to deal with the ramifications of her habits of self-medicating. How I wish I knew then what I know now. How we ALL could have used some therapy. How if only we had been taught some ways to cope, to understand what she was going through.
She passed away in September of 2006 because of health complications. For a while I blamed that situation on me not being around more since I lived out of state. At the hospital they found drugs and alcohol in her system. Her coping mechanisms. I know now that it wasn’t anything I could control and that she lived her life the best way she could. Since, my mother’s passing I’ve decided that none of my loved ones will have to suffer in silence believeing that I don’t care. Mental Illness is a serious topic and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. If you feel that you need help, reach out and know that there are people who will support you. Please visit The Siwe Project’s website to share your story or encourage others who have shared. You can also tweet The Siwe Project at @thesiweproject on twitter with the hashtag #NoShame.