Mental illness sucks. Living with mental illness or living with someone living with mental illness sucks. I personally think it's even harder when you love that person. Mental illness is not all happy pills and unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes it takes a BUNCH of different medications at different doses for months or even years to get to a good place. And when I say I good place, I mean in your brain. You can't always be in a good place physically and mentally and spiritually at the same time. It is a very difficult and delicate balance.
I am going to be 100% honest about my depression battle over the past year. Some of it was easy to deal with, or so I thought, and others was entirely too much. Some you know that Mike lost his security job November of last year. It was rough on us, but I wasn't really worried. TONS of jobs were applied to by both of us and most of the time nothing was heard from.
We moved in with one of Mike's sisters, praying that it be temporary, but it turned into longer term than any of us really wanted. We both had a job with the same company for a while, but it wasn't going to be enough $ to get us into our own place. We were really stressed, and I wasn't handling it well. At all. I let my feelings bottle up, until I exploded mentally. I had some HORRIBLE thoughts that I knew were wrong and finally asked for extra help. It was decided that since I wasn't in immediate danger to myself, that a crisis residential unit would be better for me than in-patient at the hospital. It was REALLY hard to ask for help.
CPS got involved, and it honestly broke my heart. It took me a short time in the crisis residential unit to see that I wasn't thriving in our situation. I was spending my days coping with all of the stress. I wasn't voicing my concerns and feelings. I was hiding A LOT of emotional/mental stress from my husband. Overall, it was a wonderful place to be, even with some very frustrating residents. I learned a lot and am working on putting the great information to use. Probably the best thing that came out of my "time on the inside", was a pinch pot nest that I made during a Grief/Loss group. The first thing she asked us to make was something to signify our loss. Mine was an empty nest. I couldn't see my kids as much as I would have liked. Then she asked us to make something to signify the good in our life. So I traced a heart with my finger on the inside of the nest. And one of the other girls, I say girl because she was in her early 20s, made me 3 eggs. One to signify each of the kids. Genevieve and I traded pinch pots temporarily, and when I got mine back, one of them had drawn a heart on each of the eggs. I smile every time I look at it, because I know I will see them again soon.
It was hard though, because I missed my family. I had never been away from any of my kids for more than a day or so. It's even harder now, because I haven't had a hug from my husband or kids in more than a month. IT HURTS!
I assumed to much of people while I was in care. I thought I had a place to stay when I was discharged. I didn't. I asked a bunch of people for suggestions, or just to crash on their couch for a few days. No one could or would offer the help I really needed. I don't know if they were afraid of me or how I might behave. I went outside my comfort zone and asked for help, but I couldn't find what I really needed. I was offered 2 different options, but neither would have worked out. It was suggested that I stay in one of the local shelters. So I tried, and got into the Salvation Army shelter in Denton. It was decent and the food was more than edible. I just wasn't use to sleeping in a place like that, so I honestly have no clue how much sleep I got. Not much. I know after having kids that as long as I get 5 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, I can have a socially acceptable attitude. I was pretty close to borderline ready to go off again. It sucked. The ladies in the room were nice, but they all snored in various degrees.
A relative offered to let me sleep on their couch, but after spending a couple different days there, I could see that it was not going to be a healthy place, mentally, for me. I was grateful for the time and food, but my mental state is more important.
I also slept in Mike's truck for several nights. It wasn't as bad as the shelter, but I needed more space to stretch out. I wasn't 100% where I needed to be mentally, so I finally listened to my husband and gut and went to stay with my mom. I've been here since October 10th. It hurt to miss Mike's birthday, but it hurts even more that I won't be there for Genevieve's 7th birthday in December. I could probably go back before then, but I want to move back with more than my head on straight and a tiny amount of $ in my pocket.
I will be back before Christmas, and that is all I really want this year. Screw presents. I just want to be in the same house as my husband and kids again. I want hugs and kisses every day. I want the chemical reaction in my brain when I receive those much longed for touches.
It's going to take a LONG time to get back to "normal". If there even is such a thing. I have to prove I am stable and not a danger to myself or others. I have to earn trust back and try to get back to how life was, but better.
Mental Health and Homeless reform needs to happen. There are entirely too many chronically homeless people in the US. To my best knowledge, there is no real long term options to most needing help. Most shelters are only short term. The shelter I stayed in only allowed people to stay 5 days a month. That's it. If you had a job, you might be able to get an exception, but is it worth the frustration if you have to be out of the shelter by 7am and back by 5:30 if you wanted dinner? What if you worked afternoons til 10pm? You don't get in. They lock the door around 9:30.
Prayers have been greatly appreciated and I would love to know that someone is continuously praying for us.