I went into major self pity mode last night; feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything worthwhile in the last decade, since it’s been close to that long since I worked outside the home due to my disabilities of mental illness and migraine.
Now I just found out I have stage 3 chronic renal disease. I thought being sick meant I haven’t contributed anything.
Then I realized I’ve done some pretty fantastic stuff in that time. I have half and more than half way raised two beautiful children. I am a good mom to them. I really am.
I am proud of the choices I have made in my life to be healthier and happier for me and for them, even though at the time they weren’t really choices, but rock bottoms with no way out but up.
I could choose on any day to go back to those destructive ways, but I don’t. That says something, but nothing that I could explain to say, an old highschool friend who I haven’t seen in ten years, who may ask me what I’ve been up to all this time.
I couldn’t tell her about all that I’ve been through and accomplished in real life to stay sober or to stay alive; all the mood swings managed, the medication changes dealt with, the physical pain endured, the panic attacks suffered through, the doctors appointments attended, and the therapy sessions completed.
And then there is all the mental health articles and stories on mental illness I have penned under psuedonyms over the years; the hundreds of poems or the chapbooks I’ve authored, again under a psuedonym; the volunteer work I’ve done online to help those in need, hidden behind a screen name to protect my anonymity from prying eyes, and the people I have helped in real life whose anonymity I have to maintain because it is one of the main principles of the program. No, I couldn’t tell her all of these things.
I would have to respond with something like, “Oh, not much. Just staying home with the kids,” which doesn’t sound like much, but it is. It is a lot…with so much more.