Advocacy, Bipolar, Blogging, Civil Rights, Community, Depression, Humanitarian, Humanity, Life, Mental health, mental illness, NAMI Ohio, Ohio Senate, Pain, People, Persistence, Personal, Struggles, Thoughts, Truth
Well, I’m not really sure where to begin now that I’ve got Jane Says all set up!! I suppose the easiest place for the purposes of this website, is to begin at the beginning.
I am presently battling against imposition of Senate Bill 43 (S.B.43) in the Ohio Senate. I have much to say about the matter and have spoken with many persons about it thus far, about which I also have much to say. But just to get started…
What happened is this:
I am bipolar and I overdosed on anti-anxiety meds in September 2012 when my (now ex-)husband decided he didn’t want to bother with the hassle of my being bipolar anymore. This was after I supported him and cared for him all the while through a double lung transplant…yeah, but whatever you know, we live and we learn, we learn to let go, everything has a beginning, middle and end, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, etc., etc…
After the overdose I was somehow transported to a smaller hospital in Dublin, Ohio, because it was closest and probably less of a wait at the emergency room (though I’d hope people in my former position never ever have to wait long in that instance.). I was there but I don’t remember it, and I’m afraid to ask. All I remember is having a delicious chocolate Cold Stone milkshake that my sister-in-law “Aaliyah” brought for me (all of which except for the delicious chocolate milkshake part, I also learned after the fact). The whole thing really is just upsetting because what happened was, I was having a real, real hard time dealing with my emotions when my former husband basically just “shut” his off one day, and then a few days after that, told me “he no longer loved me as a wife” and that I should move on. I was crushed. So a day or two after that, still crushed, I tried to be constructive by running a warm bath of water to soak in. I thought well, for sure, that will make me feel better. Then I saw my former husband had posted something about how delicious was the orange chicken he was eating at his former favorite Chinese spot at Miami of Ohio, on a Wednesday… I could hardly breathe my heart was breaking so hard inside of me, and he was posting about chicken on Facebook…
So I ran the bath and put my foot into it to get in and the water was freezing and that was it. I did not want to die, I just needed the pain to stop. The emotional pressure and pain anyone who is bipolar feels from day to day, week to week, is incredible. It’s terribly difficult to describe…I try my damnedest at my sister website but it’s always been a struggle to explain to others, and an even bigger struggle to consequently, have to live within the suffering and darkness all alone.
So I couldn’t take the pain any more and I’d talked with my psychologist weekly and I’d seen my psychiatrist weekly and they just could not do anything for me to get this pain to go away. They just said “time” – “give it time”, “time heals all wounds”, “the only thing that’s gonna heal this wound is time”, etc., etc., but time I did not have. I needed it to stop now, it was unbearable. So I swallowed the entire bottle of anti-anxiety pills my psychiatrist had given me to relieve the pressure, and then I laid down in the tub in the cold water and all I remember is white light and chocolate milkshake, then white light and sandpaper sheets and drugs and nurses in white and a locked door. A door locking me inside of it at Riverside 9West Psychiatric Ward. A door locking me inside of it to keep the rest of the world safe from me. That’s what it felt like. That’s still what it feels like today.
So anyways, to keep this moving, I got out, struggled to keep getting to work daily so I could keep my job and pay my bills, struggled to keep working on the meds with my psychiatrist in hopes to getting to “feeling” better, struggled with my psychologist working through my feelings as to what happened with the separation from my estranged husband and how to cope day-to-day, struggled with an evil then-husband dissipating and concealing assets October – December 2012, and an ugly ugly divorce that followed bitterly from January – July 26, 2013. During that time, I realized, I am no different from anyone else who struggles with mental illness. I am no different. I may be blessed in different ways, but we all have different blessings and the curse is the same. I was the same. I am the same. That was the catalyst to begin overcoming my fear of “coming out”.
In the beginning of that process then, I started serious work in May 2013 on http://thecultivationofbeauty.com/ and I started reading emails I had signed up for, newsletters and whatnot, from The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio. One such email invited NAMI Ohio members to come down to the Ohio statehouse on May 1st to show their support for legislation it had proposed to Ohio’s legislators or something of the sort. I decided to get involved and go. I did. I was disturbed.
What has now become S.B.43 currently pending in the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee and House Bill 104 (H.B.104) currently pending in the Ohio House Judiciary Committee, this proposed legislation seeks to expand the legal standard by which the government can come in and remove an individual’s ability to make his/her own medical decisions so grossly wide that it could potentially apply to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, regardless of any threat of harm. So, in the spirit of transparency, this is the follow up email I sent to NAMI Franklin County regarding my experience viewing the hearing at the statehouse this past May:
This was the very nice response that I received from NAMI Franklin County:
This, however, was the curt response I received back to my fears and concerns from Betsy Johnson at NAMI Ohio:
I wrote Betsy back that same day, basically acquiescing and apologizing for myself (keep in mind I was in the middle of a horrible divorce from a mentally and emotionally abusive former husband at the time…):
And that’s how this whole thing I’m about to launch into on Jane Says began. By giving expression to and voicing my concerns to NAMI Ohio, the self-proclaimed driving force behind the current legislation pending in the Ohio Senate seeking to force treatment upon all persons deemed “mentally ill” for no other reason than having been diagnosed with a brain chemistry disorder. Well that, and of course, my receipt of an insufficient and dismissive response from NAMI Ohio. I was not satisfied. And henceforth and hitherto…NAMI Ohio is now the driving force behind Jane Says Rise too…