I’ve Seen That Movie Too

At the age of 5 – or there about – we are so excited to go to the big kid school, and everything is possible.

The age of 16, we can drive a car. Woo Hoo!

At 18 we can vote, and fight for our country.

At 21 we can do everything else which has been denied us–except rent a car, and claim independent status on the FAFSA.

Some of us were bullied, the class clown, the beautiful-spunky cheerleader, the captain of the football team, the geek/nerd/genius, shy….

Life evolves, and we become who we are–due to the environment we are raised, the influence of our peers, the parenting style of our moms and dads, current day influences–such as the invention of stinkin’ social media, and how we interpret all that influence in our minds.

We develop dreams of what we could be as adults—the possibilities are endless.

If we believe in ourselves and our capabilities.

Changes I hadn’t counted on being a challenge were plentiful.

Becoming a wife. Whew! Big change from the single life, isn’t it?

A mother. Oh, what was I thinking? How can I be a mother? …and all the beliefs about how much I could screw up a child.

A stay-at-home mother, dependent on another person to provide for me.

Adjusting to the kind-of-empty nest. Maybe it’s best described as, my kids didn’t need me like they used to. I had to redefine my life once again.

Do I get a job? A paying job? Let me tell you, it’s very defeating to hear the words, “your skills are too old”, from an interviewer. Never mind all the volunteer work that kept my skills current.

I accepted all those changes, and if I were to be totally honest with myself, I did an awesome job….no buts to be made, because the buts are nonsense.

I grew up with exposure to physical and mental diseases in my immediate family. The experiences shaped my personality.

I had a sense of guilt watching my brother and sister poke themselves with a needle everyday. I can remember my sister crying, needle poised over her thigh–not wanting to stick herself one more time. She couldn’t be like a regular teenager, and eat as she wished, due to Type 1 Diabetes–same lifestyle for my brother.

More guilt watching my youngest sister struggle with the effects of Multiple Sclerosis for over 30 years. Yet she continues to find joy, and lives her life.

Out of the four kids in my family, why was I okay?

I’m not. I received the mental illness curse that runs throughout my mom’s side of the family.

I woke up with tears of defeat this morning. Then a thought passed through my mind-fog  – aha! it isn’t the stigma which makes mental illness so hard for some to discuss, it’s the acceptance of the disease being a part of our lives. At least this is true for me–perhaps I’m not the only one?

For three years, I have been fighting anxiety over my health. Every little pain or odd feeling triggers thoughts that I must have a tumor–cancer will return. I have finally learned to stop living in 6-month increments. Today, the information I have is all I know, until I have new information. When, and if, I have to fight cancer again, I will be ready. That fear mastered–for the most part. What can I say? I’m not perfect 😀

When I was told that I had cancer, I totally denied it. Apparently, not well because it caused a paralyzing fear that I would live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder.

Same thing happened when my psychiatrist told me I had bipolar 2. It was easier to accept that I had major depression, but another thing when it came to his diagnosis. Denial is one of my good companions, and it is the acceptance of this diagnosis which will help me manage life.

I have learned all I can about lung cancer. Now I have to learn all I can about bipolar 2. Maybe there isn’t a cure, but there are management strategies. Strategies I’m more than capable, and willing to carry out.

Denial has been holding me back.

I will live with happiness and joy in spite of that little crap head trying to beat me down. After all, I’m more determined and hard headed than mental illness–as long as I accept my diagnosis and follow my doctor’s advice.

At 55, I’m looking forward to another 55 years of peace and joy.




About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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19 Responses to I’ve Seen That Movie Too

  1. aviets says:

    Awesome reflection.

  2. You are really doing great April 😀
    In the time that I have known you here, you have evolved yourself so very much, wonderful to see 😉

  3. Here’s to the next, awesome 55! 🙂

  4. Peace and Joy April. That makes for a lovely mantra.

  5. suzjones says:

    You go girl. You are so very, very strong and I am proud to call you my friend. 🙂

    • April says:

      Likewise. 🙂 I am working through the acceptance, now I need to learn how to deal with change and what it does to me. I can’t go through life avoiding change, because that is a constant happening. Ha! One of the things I have learned about managing bipolar is to stick to a routine–like that’s possible. 😀

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Go get those 55 years more!!

  7. reocochran says:

    Time is all inside ourselves, I believe. I think some people overcome all obstacles, have met some with a lot of challenges who lived past 90! I have hope and believe in your long life, April. I think at every turn, medicine and the medical world have been outwardly, identifying and helping your strong inner self. You will be peaceful and happy, while living side by side with a great husband and friend. Take care and best wishes as you unpack and settle into a different life, it is quite a big change for you, April!

  8. You didn’t say “I hope” or “I might” or “I think” – you said “I WILL live with happiness and joy in spite of…” That is the type of determination that will give you the joy-filled life you deserve! You are an overcomer for sure.

    • April says:

      I did, didn’t I? Changing the way I think about myself is starting to make a difference. Now…I have to get my body moving.

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