That’s right folks…it’s almost Liptember time again. This will be my 4th year participating in Liptember and I am hoping to raise at least double last years goal of $500. As I write this, even though Liptember hasn’t officially started, I have already raised $800 which I can safely say is thanks to an anonymous donor who donated $500 straight off the bat.
As you may have read in my previous post – this year has been a horrendous struggle with my mental health. It also included my 5th suicide attempt.
I stopped after that sentence and sat for awhile. What does one say after that. The fallout was horrible. It was heartbreaking. I still feel like the worst part of it was waking up and realising I survived. The look on my husbands face, my brother yelling at me, my children so scared. I already felt like a failure, and now I was even a 5th time failure at suicide. It seems the universe wants me to stay put, despite what I feel, the pain I am always in and the words that could almost be “voices in my head” except they are just echos of the past. Of words spoken to me by people who were suppose to love me. While I am not currently suicidal, that part of me will likely always be there. You can’t ever cure depression. You are like an alcoholic – just in remission. Except they don’t give out little medals for surviving a week, a month, a year.
I am the 4th generation “mentally ill” that I know of. My mother is….crazy. I prefer to only use that word for myself…but she is proper batshit crazy. Bipolar who self medicates with drugs and alcohol. My grandmother also had bipolar and her mother was in an insitution. And unfortunately more and more research is showing that mental illness is hereditary.
The fifth generation, my daughters, are now here. My twins, who also have the added benefit of being on the autism spectrum and who are just 10 years old were both diagnosed with clinical depression. They are in their remission now. A good therapist, early intervention and finally a house where they could fall apart and be built back up again has helped heal them. My eldest has generalised anxiety disorder. She can be so fragile at times. I see so many similarities between us I wonder if there will ever come a day where I get the news she has self harmed. Oh god. Please universe give my daughters the breaks that I didn’t have. Please let me being open and talking to them help. Please let my love for them be enough. Please let the research continue, better drugs be developed, mental health be talked about, drs better educated, hospitals better staffed. Please let my daughters never have to go to the hospital and say “I have a plan to kill myself” and be turned away because there wasn’t any beds like I was….please let them not fight every day to stay alive and give up 4 weeks later after no support.
We need to know more. We especially need research into women specific mental health. Why?
- Most mental health research is performed on white males aged 30-50
- Did you know there are no pregnancy safe drugs for bipolar? Or that bipolar generally doesn’t present until early 20’s – before most women have started having children. Or that your two choices are to take the drugs while pregnant that can cause severe birth defects OR no meds and not only are you at general risk of going back to your untreated state…but once you give birth you have a 50% chance of having postnantal psychosis.
- And you know how we have all these extra and different hormones floating around? Well those need to be taken into account as welll
- Oh and what about the fact that many antipsychotics interact with birth control methods (such as implanon) and make them less effective?
- Or the fact that post natal depression can be a killer – of both mother and baby?
- Or that women are suppose to be “everything” these days. They are suppose to be supportive mothers who are there for every sports game and PTA meeting, but they are also expected to work hard and have a career. To be wives that are taking care of their husbands after they get home tired from their job. To clean up at the end of the day and then turn into a Victoria Secret model at the end of the day lest their husband strays because they aren’t “keeping themselves together”
- What about the pressure on women from society that gives them a million advertisements a year that tell them they aren’t good enough.
- What about the possibility of mental illness being hereditary – does that mean we shouldn’t have kids?
- What about the threat of loosing your children when you are mentally ill, instead of receiving support?
We need more research. We need to know more. We need to be able to talk more.
When Robin Williams killed himself I was sitting in the waiting room of the women’s for my pre surgical appointment and some lame morning show was on. This person rambled on about how he had nothing to be depressed about as apparently he had “everything” and then she went on to say that at least mental illness has no stigma attached to it. I wanted to laugh and punch her in the face at the same time. No stigma my asshole.
5 Years ago I had a nervous breakdown and to this day I have yet to hear from any, bar one, of the “friends” I had before. People said they would visit me once I got home as psych wards “freaked them out”. If I mention that I am mentally ill people don’t know what to say. Does that mean I am violent (nope – never have been)? Does it mean I will call them at 3am rambling? (nope – I have phone anxiety I am not going to call you ever)
Ok this has been a big long ramble but here is some things about me. I am a mother. A sister. A wife. A daughter. II am 32 years old and after being homeless for 8 months I live in a shithole that might as well be a palace. I only eat sweets when I am stressed…I much prefer eating an entire wheel of cheese. I wear vintage because it makes me feel good. I’m a hardcore feminist. I am sad at the way my country is becoming. I love tea and drink it a lot….always leaf tea. Which may explain the ever growing collection of tea pots. I love red lipstick. My mum or dad did my hair until I left home as I couldn’t even manage a pony tail – now people gush over how I style my hair and I am not sure where I managed to find the skills (that being said youtube wasn’t around when I was little). I am the eldest child with 3 younger brothers – one is just 9 months older than my eldest daughter). I homeschool my girls. My favourite book is “Persuasion”. My favourite show is “Parks and Recreations”. I love so many movies but when I am stressed I watch the three jurassic park movies in a continuous loop. I can knit. I try hard to say the right things at the right times, but I usually end up with my foot in my mouth. Twitter is my favourite form of communication. A week ago at my class parade was the first time I have ever felt not completely alone. I only wear flats. I decided to stop hating my fat, stretchmarked and scarred body a year ago – and it is amazing. I taught my girls to yell “FUCK OFF” from the time they were little so they could get some practice in before they would need it. Despite my addiction to vintage etiquette, deportment and charm books – I have a terrible posture, swear like a sailor and use the word Vagina way more than is actually necessary.
Oh yeah…and I have a mental illness.
So I am once again asking you to dig into your pockets to help me raise more money for this cause that means so much. All funds raised by Liptember are split between Lifeline (funds last year allowed lfeline to double their hours) and The Centre for Women’s mental Health which undertake research into mental health. There area few ways you can help….
B) Go to Chemist Warehouse and buy an official Liptember Lipstick
C) Donate directly to The Centre for Women’s Mental health by GOING HERE and selecting “general donations” and then “support mental health research”
This year I am lucky enough to be supported by a number of friends who are joining in and hoping to match my $1ooo so even if you don’t like me you could still dontate to people like the lovely Elise http://www.liptember.com.au/elise-kumar . Not only have joined in to participate in Liptember but a very lovely friend who is CEO of TANDA MODERN who make the most beautiful (seriously – between than glasshouse) candles will be launching a limited edition scent during September with all profits going to Liptember
Miss Fairchild xoxo