MY STORY

Here is the short version:

THE TWO WORDS…..JUST TWO WORDS…..THAT BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES!

 

I chose today,July 1,2012, for my very first post. And, after some thought, I feel that perhaps a brief introduction to me would be in order. With that in mind, I would like to tell you a bit about some of the defining moments in my life.  As a competitive prepubescent  gymnast in the late 70’s , I suffered my first traumatic brain injury…..Pain…..Confusion…..Fear……Betrayal…… I recovered ( so I thought) and went on to high levels of competition, in many areas including academics, which led me to the next defining moment I will share with you. I was able to enter college on a scholarship before my 16th birthday. At the time I thought “This is the beginning of my adult life!” that I was OH SO eager to begin……Freedom…..Independence…..Eye Opening…..Yes in retrospect, I lacked the emotional maturity and worldliness needed to undertake that fantasized journey. The next defining moment came with birth of my daughter. She was born early due to a devastating car accident and under difficult circumstances, but from the moment I first laid eyes on her, I felt the most incredible opening of my heart. More love than I ever thought was possible to have. More fear and anxiety than I had ever known to that point….. Awe….. Inspiration….. Protectiveness….. Meaning…..

I went on to give birth to a gorgeous son. I have married and I have divorced. I have known poverty and I have known financial success. I have owned beautiful homes and I have lived in my car. I have had triumphs and I have failed. I have known peak physical performance and devastating illness and loss. I thought I had experienced moments in life from each different end of the spectrum and my ego told me that no matter what life would throw at me I would be okay. That was the plan or so I thought.

Well, have you heard the saying? People plan and God laughs. I had heard “labels” attached to my name, as most of us have, many times over the years. I had experienced diagnoses attached to my name, as most of us have, many times over the years. But there were two words…..monumentally heavy in their weight and baffling in their implications……just two words that when pronounced out loud and attached to my name literally brought me to my knees.  These two words were a defining moment in my life.  As a matter of fact, these two words are continuing to define my life at the present moment in time. These two words……MENTAL ILLNESS.  So call me crazy, I’m okay with that now. My second adulthood is just beginning, and these two words may just be a blessing in disguise.

49 thoughts on “MY STORY

  1. I just wanted to thank you for nominating me with he Very Inspiring Blog award. As for the term ‘crazy’… check out http://www.thefreedictionary.com/crazy for the one adjective I love to label myself … “Informal Departing from proportion or moderation, especially: a. Possessed by enthusiasm or excitement” So, go ahead and be crazy … I know I am!!! 🙂

  2. Carey Mann's - The Bridge says:

    what an inspiring story! you would inspire even more people on a bigger platform. Anyway, we are all crazy … just to varying degrees, and with varying with volumes. Thank you so much for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Right back atcha. Love, always Carey @ The Bridge

  3. Otrazhenie says:

    Hi 🙂 I’ve nominated your blog for ‘Blog of the year 2012’ award. Congratulations!
    Follow the link provided below for information on this award:
    http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/
    It was a pleasure meeting you in the blogosphere in 2012. 🙂

  4. lem says:

    Great site!

    Here is another person to get to know: Ben Boone.

    http://www.virginvoices.vi/Minorityofmind

    Benjamin Boone shares a journey few are able to take and talk about. Boone, now in his early 30s, was diagnosed with schizophrenia the day after he graduated with a degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston. He spent spent a month at Mclean Hospital and six months at a group home.

    During the past ten years he’s been hospitalized nine times. Faced with the reality that he had a lifelong illness and his childhood ambitions would never be realized, he offered himself up as a test subject for dozens of research studies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts hospitals. His book “ Minority of Mind” tells a compelling story of his life as “subject” for the study of schizophrenia and a host of other unrelated illnesses. The book is worth reading just for the inside look at medical research in Boston, but it is much more than that. “Minority of Mind” details a young man’s descent into darkness, and his daily struggles to perform as a person, rather than a manifestation of his illness. It addresses how society treats those with serious psychiatric disorders and challenges our definition of ‘madness.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      He does not have a lifelong illness. See Dr. Bertram Karon’s work.

      • lem says:

        contrary to your view and Dr. Bertram, he does. Without taking medication for the rest of his life, his brain chemistry imbalance will cause symptoms to return.

      • Going along with Ann Woodlen, I would ask, WHAT chemical imbalance does Ben have? I mean, what chemical is out of whack? Does he know? Do you? (Please do not tell me dopamine, because that would be to repeat a lie, and I hope you have not been just lied to…Do some research before you react. Find the answers…Tell me.

  5. Subhan Zein says:

    Hello,

    You have a lot of experiences, and I am sure many of us can learn from them. Here I hope it is not too late to wish you a wonderful New Year. May 2013 bring you more happiness, love, and success. Also, I would like to thank you because you continue following my blog. I hope my short stories and poems do not disappoint and that your visits in there have been a joyful ride.Thank you again, many blessings and much love to you. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  6. I’ve tagged you… Come and take a look when you get the time..! 🙂
    http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/thank-you-xoxoxo/

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Do you know, I am so sure I have read this before but there’s not a like or comment in sight. Was so sure I had….

    Anyway, then let me NOW say this is amazing. I commend you so much – and making a blog & telling others through it how it is, truly is.

    Mental illness, to be honest with you, I have equated to being creative. What I mean is, the mentally ill have a perspective the common person just cannot see. Creativity in perspective, and outside of perspective – something else, but not to be dismissed.

    Love this, and wish you always well.

  8. Dan Bostdorf says:

    I agree with this: “mentally ill have a perspective the common person just cannot see….” Check out Benjamin Boone interviews and video at http://www.virginvoices.vi/minorityofmind.

    He is a strong advocate of destigmatizing “brain chemistry disorders” by NOT calling them mental illness. Remarkable peer counselor who believes that creativity is a part of his disorder. Benjamin Boone shares a journey few are able to take and talk about. Boone, now in his early 30s, was diagnosed with schizophrenia the day after he graduated with a degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston. He spent spent a month at Mclean Hospital and six months at a group home.

    During the past ten years he’s been hospitalized nine times. Faced with the reality that he had a lifelong illness and his childhood ambitions would never be realized, he offered himself up as a test subject for dozens of research studies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts hospitals. His book “ Minority of Mind” tells a compelling story of his life as “subject” for the study of schizophrenia and a host of other unrelated illnesses. The book is worth reading just for the inside look at medical research in Boston, but it is much more than that. “Minority of Mind” details a young man’s descent into darkness, and his daily struggles to perform as a person, rather than a manifestation of his illness. It addresses how society treats those with serious psychiatric disorders and challenges our definition of ‘madness.

  9. I arou am so impressed with how well you have lived your life so far. You have attitude that is amazing. TY for your honesty. And I am liking the first comment with the definition of crazy. I prefer Mentally Creative to the MI term myself. Or Mentally Brilliant or Mentally Interesting. Just a few to kick around. See you again soon, I hope. jk the SK 😎

  10. annecwoodlen says:

    Welcome to my world. Have you read the blog where I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia . . . while I was unconscious?

    • Incredible, a sad commentary on the state of mental health care, and yet you are inspiring hope in those of us classified as being mentally ill. Thank you for sharing this.

  11. Howdy, Thank you visiting American Male hope you visit again soon!

  12. Linda Vernon says:

    A fully experienced life and the gift to write about it. You’re my kind of writer. I’m looking forward to reading more! 😀

  13. Otrazhenie says:

    You have been nominated for the Wonderful Team Membership Award. For more information visit https://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/wonderful-team-membership-award/ . Enjoy 🙂

  14. Inspiring story! I wish you the best and look forward to reading more.

  15. cindy knoke says:

    I think what I would call you is a very good writer and an insightful person~

  16. swedenole13 says:

    I love that you have told your story in this way. I also really like the name you gave your blog. I totally agree with Cindy Knoke, she almost took the words out of my mouth so I won’t repeat them (good going Cindy)! Keep on writing, it is cathartic! I will be returning often!

  17. Rich tale. Fascinating. Thank you for the follow. Will be so interesting to see how things pan out for you. I hope you’ll hold onto beauty through it all. Diana

  18. Theresa says:

    Don’t be afraid of the broken places. That’s where we get our strength and courage to come around again; it’s where light can diminish the darkness.

  19. Moniba says:

    Live Strong:) Although I can see you’ve already been doing that.

  20. Informal departing from moderation!!! I love it. I definitely fit into THIS category. And I LOVE the title of your blog. Well Call Me Crazy, too!

  21. karenzai says:

    Wow, I can really identify with what you say about a second lease of life, and mental illness being a blessing in disguise. I’ve struggled with various degrees of depression. I would describe my last, most severe experience with it as being trapped in a vortex of mind games, lies, and self-loath. The experience during and after really pushed me to reexamine and finally redefine my purpose in life. I look forward to learning more from your experiences and insights! 🙂 (P.S. I blog about mental health, faith, and life in general.)

  22. Well, you can call me crazy as well, but don’t call me names like sick or psychotic. Then please call me Miss Wagner if you are going to call me anything because if you call me Pam and you are hospital personnel, I know you will take liberties with me and insult my dignity and not accord me the respect that a 61 year old “Miss Wagner” would get. So call me Crazy yes, if you want to, because Virginia Woolf was crazy and Vincent Van Gogh might have been crazy and a lot of CREATIVE people were crazy and it is better to be called Crazy than labelled psychotic and paranoid, which words lead to involuntary forced treatment. “Crazy” is just a word, a casual word that as one psychiatrist told me, “means NOTHING.” Crazy is a meaningless word, he said. Okay, so CALL US ALL CRAZY, because we’ve all been crazy sometimes, haven’t we? And if you have never been crazy then maybe you have never lived, and never felt anything and are already dead. And you know, some of my best friends in the world are crazy, nuts! (another meaningless word) and I would rather live in a world of crazy folk than in a world of psychiatrists, wouldn’t you???? Ha ha ha! So I love you, Callmecrazy. Just Call me crazy too!

    My best to you,

    Pamela Wagner from Wagblog

  23. El Guapo says:

    It’s nice to meet you, Crazy!
    Hope your second adulthood leaves space for some second childhood as well, regardless of diagnoses.

  24. benzeknees says:

    Thanks for stopping by Benzeknees. This was an interesting post. I have struggled with Panic & Anxiety Disorder almost all my life. My grandmother was treated with ECT (shock treatment). People used to whisper around her, “Don’t upset Kate, you know she hasn’t been the same since her treatment.” I’m sure people whisper around me. I am a product of my environment, my abusive upbringing & my genes. The road has been really tough sometimes, but it’s my road to travel.

  25. It’s raining awards! For Women’s Eyes Only has nominated you for an award. To see this award click here: http://forwomenseyesonly.com/2014/07/08/the-community-heart-award/

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