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Didn't I Come With Instructions?

I do my best “writing” either in the shower or on a run. What’s the problem with that? It’s all in my head and never makes it to paper when I’m done. Ever. I’m sure everyone at some point feels like they come up with ideas to solve the world’s problems in the shower. Well, this is my version (edited a hundred times) and there’s still not one common theme. I have great things I would absolutely love to share, then nope. Gone. Ugh!

There are a million things going through my brain every second of the day. My medication helps slow those thoughts some, but they don’t ever really stop. Snippets of conversations, thoughts, pictures, ideas, memories, and so on make brief appearances and then they’re gone. Do you know how frustrating that is?

OR! I can remember super insignificant events from when I was a kid. Like when I discovered that my canvas sneakers were pulling apart from the sole of the shoe on my left foot…in second grade…sitting on the reading carpet. Better yet, in kindergarten, my teacher had the months of the year in a square shape stapled to the pegboard. The months were in the shape of birthday cakes. My cake was blue and in the bottom right corner of the square. Ask me what I did yesterday or someone’s name? It’s in there… just give me a second to remember. I can’t explain why this is. It just happens. Maybe there’s something more going on up there…

Instruction Manual

If I came with an instruction manual, you might find the following inside:

  • Sometimes I just operate the way I do for what seems like no reason. Sorry. Not sorry.

  • I am not sad all of the time. In fact, most people are surprised when I tell them I live with depression.

  • It’s super frustrating to be educated on how the brain works and not always knowing what my anxiety triggers are or why I’m in a depressed mood. I just know I am and I know that’s where I’ll stay for a little bit. It’s even more frustrating reminding myself of this fact.

  • There isn’t anything I can just “get over”. What I can get over is someone not wanting to deal with me, but hey…your loss! I’m a pretty fun gal! 🙂

  • I explain how I feel in pretty relatable terms: squirrels, TV static, etc. Not everyone can identify with my quirks. I get it 100%. Let me help you to understand.

  • As stated before, I don’t consider myself to have an illness. Don’t tell me I’m sick, please.

  • Just because I lived with postpartum depression doesn’t mean I wanted to harm or kill my daughter. For the love of God, that’s when I really needed the most support.

  • Just because my journey is a little different doesn’t make me any less of a person. In a way, I am grateful for my journey. It means there’s one person somewhere else in the world not living in the dark.

  • Weak? That’s not me. I am one of the strongest people you will ever know.

  • Time is needed to process and decompress if I am overstimulated.

  • I always expect the absolute worst things will happen to me. Drive under a bridge and I’m visualizing it collapsing on me. Rollercoaster? I’m getting flung from the ride.

  • If you want me to open up to you about what’s going on “upstairs,” be prepared for some heavy shit. Depending on who you are, I’ll either ease you in or just dive head first. Also, I don’t need you to roll your eyes or say I’m being dramatic if I’m sharing. That shows me you don’t really care enough to listen.

  • Suicidal ideation does not mean I am suicidal. Do I think about death a lot? Yep. Do I want to kill myself? Hell no!

  • I still experience everyday emotions and stress. Crazy, right? Just because I’m stressed doesn’t mean I need to change my meds.

  • I live for and love my family more than I can express.  They’re the biggest reason I keep fighting.  And I also understand that I don’t always make life easy.

Patty's husband with daughter on his shoulders

Mental Health is JUST as important

Now that I got that out of my head…

The words “mental health” should not be silenced. Mental health awareness is more than just throwing words out there. It’s more than just empty words, blank stares, eye rolls, and thinking we’re dramatic people. “Mental health” is making sure that everyone’s mental well-being becomes just as important as our physical well-being. I’d like my brain to function just like I would any other muscle, organ, blood vessel, and bone in my body.



By Patty Morse

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