My Mental Health, where am I at?

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With the announcement of our second Shattering the Darkness weekend being launched, I am blasted with a whole new round of anxiety. To keep you in the know, we have launched our second ever Shattering the Darkness, Sharing the Weight, for this coming Nov 1-2. Tickets are now live on our website, register here, there are only 12 spots available.

My heart is pounding writing this , self doubt grips my chest like a chain and yanks me down into a hole of dark. My brain rushes thoughts in and out as fast as it can, as if to distract me from recovery. I am wondering what I need, I ask myself the questions to bring me back. ‘Tammy, what do you need in this moment?’. To hide my heart says. To isolate. To never leave my house. To quit everything. Don’t let anyone know how I’m feeling.

Here’s the thing. My brain illness can switch on in a moment. I can be at peace and the next moment overwhelmed and sweating, ready to cry and run. From there comes all the second guessing, and soon (hopefully soon) my body calms down and tells me it’s ok. This too shall pass.

All of the people who support me come to mind. All the brain illness sufferers that have gone before me appear in my thoughts. All the times I have suffered for the last 30+ years that I have overcome reappear. It’s ok, this too shall pass.

I am telling you all of this because it’s not ok for me to bear this alone. It’s not right. People line up at your home when you have cancer, they ask if they can pray for you. People bring meals over and offer to watch your kids when you break or leg or need surgery. But my brain, it’s my brain. It’s so utterly important, but it’s so invisible. The suffering is so invisible.

There is so much hope, but it’s not in the hiding. I write this for all the people who cannot. All the women and men and children who don’t have a platform or an audience. I have always been willing to ‘take one for the team’ - my team. My co-sufferers.

I want you to know how much I am thriving, mainly because I don’t want you to assume the alternative. Today, this morning, is simply a reoccurring symptom of my brain illness. I can have symptoms and still have an amazing wonderful life. It’s not black or white.

Today I gave myself medicine. Time alone, a soak in the tub, time to write, walk the dog, and recover. I am ok, just as I will be for the next 30+ years. I ask myself what I need, and I find the episodes get shorter and shorter. I suppose the hardest part is asking for help, when you find you don’t really want help. But understanding this illness is the key. And this is why we host Shattering the Darkness. To bring our darkness into the light through sharing and understanding. Through abolishing shame. I am not ashamed of my illness, no. I’m not sure exactly what I am. I suppose I’m accepting it and also taking daily steps of recovery.

xo Tammy

Tammy Zdunich