Am I Oversharing? That’s Okay.

A huge part of who I am and what I write about involves divulging some pretty personal stuff. I’m certain there are people who have read this blog before and thought, “I can’t believe she just told that to the whole online world!” Believe me, there are times I think that too.

I often reflect on this and have to remind myself why I do it.

If telling you about the mental anguish I have experienced or am experiencing makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay. If explaining to you that I have experienced sexual assault makes you feel weird or nervous for me, that’s okay too. You may not like to read that I have been so depressed before that I attempted suicide and guess what, I don’t like it either. It may be really unpleasant to hear about the pain I have endured, you may even think I’m whining. And that is totally okay, too.

For every story I tell, there are thousands of others that are far worse than mine. There are people who have endured and experienced pains like none I can imagine. But there are also people who know experiences much like the ones I have had or are experiencing a trauma or a dark depression for the first time in their life; they may find comfort in what I have to say. Someone may have just received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and need to know that it can be very hard, but they can live life with it. There are people who know what it is like to live with fibromyalgia and chronic pain who help me by responding to my posts about living with this illness. There are people who stand up and say, we are not alone, all because I share. There are people who just feel comforted, as do I, to know that another person gets what it is like to face the challenges of anxiety, depression, PTSD, self-injury, etc. and for them I write. Even for those who have endured much worse, I write. I write to let them know that they have my support if they choose to speak out. I want them to know that I believe in them and that they can find healing.

Sometimes I ask myself… am I over-sharing? Did you really need to know that I was molested when I was 7 years old by an elderly man? Nope. You may not need to know that, but by putting that out here, maybe, just maybe, someone will say, “Me too, and it really changed me. It really had an effect on me that I can acknowledge now.” Who knows?

For all of these reasons and more I continue to spill it here for you… and for me. It is the best salve for my wounds. It helps me to know I am not alone, it helps me to know that if I can say it out loud then I can move through it and on to the good things in life. If I can share my struggles with you, then I can face them and I can choose to live free of them. Perhaps this is the greatest reason I write, after all, not that many people read this blog!

So it’s okay. It’s okay to over-share. Feel free to join me, there is no judgment here.

 

Peeking Out the Window

My children and I have managed (with a lot of help!) to move recently and we are working now to get settled into our new space. It’s a daunting task, but what is now behind us was worse. It’s a great feeling to know that the (hopefully) hardest parts are in the past, but since I am depleted of energy it can still feel tough to look ahead.

I find myself in a strange place right now. I go back and forth between fear, anger, peace and optimism. My outlook fluctuates frequently. While I have felt relatively stable emotionally, I find myself tearing up and even shedding some tears again, when I thought most of the tears were all used up already. I am in the midst of the messy process of divorce that is one of great grief and confusion, for all involved.

I’ve been here before. But I have two children to be concerned about now and I have to cope with the reality that I also have two failed marriages in my pocket. Both marriages have been valuable learning experiences in retrospect, but incredibly difficult losses and losses that I would certainly prefer not to have.

It’s hard for me to write here on my blog during this time. I know that family members, friends, and who knows who else might be looking in, checking up, and investigating what I publish. It’s difficult to feel safe with that.  In the past I haven’t required too much reservation of myself in writing, but now, everything looks and feels different, almost foreign.

A few things haven’t changed about who I am and what I will continue to share with you…

I live with Fibromyalgia.

I live with Major Depressive Disorder (and a couple of other co-morbid mental health issues).

I am a Health Activist.

I am a parent.

I love social media.

I love awareness…raising awareness, creating awareness and talking about tough issues like suicide and suicide prevention for example.

I intend and am seeking to live a full and beautiful life while loving myself and others all the way through it, as best as I can.

So what is the point of this post really?

I guess I am just peeking out the window of my new “home” and checking to see if it looks safe out here. Feel free to let me know if you see danger!

My Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2011

I wrote my post for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day over at WEGO Health and I wanted to make sure I told you all about it here, too… titled “It’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day: Why Bother?” I hope you will visit the post there and read why I care about this event, even in the midst of so many important awareness activities in the month of May.

It’s not a super eventful day here as far as awareness activities go. I have been extremely tired and it also just so happens to be my daughter’s birthday, but I can still write, tweet, and support the amazing efforts and events that are taking place. You can too!

A Path to Well Enough, A Fight for Prevention (Guest Post)

It is a great privilege of mine to share with you a post that was originally posted on the blog My 3rd Baby: EllieAdorn. Don’t let the title of her wonderful blog fool you, this is a post about issues I am very passionate about and you’ve come to know will be talked about here. Please leave a comment of gratitude for our guest post author and let her know if she touches your heart!

A Path to Well Enough, A Fight for Prevention
By: Cristi Comes, Mom of 2, author of My 3rd Baby: EllieAdorn mom support site

I hit my head against the dresser over and over. I had never “hurt myself” this way before but

I was so depressed I needed to feel something.

I was becoming suicidal and I had started to make myself physically sick.

I was late every day to work or just missed days entirely.

I was drinking and partying way too much. And alcohol just made me weepy and more depressed.

If I had my way, I’d stay in bed all day, never get dressed, never shower, never go out.

I even had a “psychiatrist.” I put that title in quotes because he was not a good one, and I was young and inexperienced and didn’t know that I should advocate for myself and find a good doctor. I guess I didn’t even know he was a bad one.

My friends began to notice, and without me knowing talked to each other. I was living in Los Angeles at the time far away from most of my family. And this was my group of girl friends who I had only known for a few years. But we loved each other dearly (and still do although we all live apart now).

I didn’t know John. We hadn’t met yet. So that support was not there.

But I was confronted by friends. My tight knit group of LA girlfriends. Guy friends from college. One even came to visit from New Orleans to check on me. It was that bad.
Finally I saw that others were there for me and I didn’t need to suffer alone. I asked for help. I went to my boss and my bosses boss and asked for leave. It was a difficult thing for me to do because even though recently I had started to be late, miss work and such, I prided myself on keeping it together when I WAS there and doing a great job for my clients.

I found out about the Family Medical Leave Act. I could legally take time off and still get partial pay because of a severe medical need.

And so I left my apartment and job behind for a few months. Traveled to my parents’ home in Florida and went to therapy. Intense therapy, 3-4 times per week for two months. I saw my Grandmother’s psychiatrist in Tampa (she’s a good one) and started trying out new medications.

I faced a few demons left over from a date rape in college with hypnotherapy. I told my parents I had been raped.

It wasn’t the end of my mental health struggles by any means, but it was the start of an amazing learning experience that has brought me to today. I now trust my heart. I listen to my inner voice. I advocate for myself and my mental health.

When the bad days come, and yes they certainly still do, I know I can ask for help. I know its OK to be a “Sad Bunny” once in a while (whether from PPD, depression or just the regular stresses of life).

It’s just letting those days turn into weeks or months that becomes a BIG PROBLEM.

Letting those days turn into hitting your head against a dresser.

Letting those days turn into thoughts of suicide.

Letting those days and your mental illness take away your life.

On Saturday I walked for Suicide Prevention at Seattle Pacific University, and it felt good. I felt like I was making a difference in honor of my own struggles and my friends who have died by suicide. In honor of Dina.

On October 1st, the larger Out of the Darkness Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will make its way around Green Lake Park in Seattle with me and many other supporters. I’m formulating plans for a fundraising and awareness campaign and I’m SO excited I could cry.

This is SO important. We are not alone in this fight. My friends proved that to me about 8 years ago when they confronted me. Today I am confronting you.

Have you asked for help?