This is a guest post written by my younger sister, Tiffany, who has a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Once a month, Tiffany documents a single day in her life. The purpose of these posts is to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with mental illness. I’m also hoping the posts will help readers recognize that we all have hopes, dreams, challenges and mountains to climb regardless of our mental health status. If you’d like to read the posts I’ve written about Tiffany’s journey and all the guest posts she’s shared on this blog, check out the mental health page. Without further ado, here’s Tiffany.
I woke up feeling like I didn’t want to get out of bed. My five-year-old daughter, Raegan, asked me why we cry sometimes, but tears don’t come out. I told her those were silent tears. I was feeling the silent tears that day.
I told myself, happiness is your choice. Just choose to be happy.
My kids were still sleeping. My mom stopped over with my ADHD medication; she is in charge of giving me my ADHD medication at this time because I had issues taking that medication in the past. That morning, I didn’t feel very beautiful, inside or out. She told me that I certainly was beautiful, and I began to feel a bit better. I felt sad because I don’t get to see my mom very much when she substitute teaches, which she is doing now. We said I love you a few times before my mom left for school. I always tell her to have safe travels.
I continued to tell myself to make a choice to be happy!
My kids woke up a few minutes after my mom left. Raegan had unity day at school. She was supposed to wear orange, but I didn’t look through her backpack the night before to know that. I happened to throw on an orange and blue flannel. Raegan and I argued about what she was going to wear for a while. Nothing I selected for her was what she wanted to wear. Finally, she told me she needed to wear orange for unity day. We found an outfit that had orange in it. The day was definitely getting better.
Off to school we went. We took a picture for unity day in our orange outfits before Raegan went into school.
I kept telling myself, I am happy! The kids are happy, I hope?!
Next, I stopped over at a friend’s place and life started to feel a bit more unified. My friend had just gotten engaged and she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I am honored and excited. More happiness to add to the wonderful day!
I can’t remember much about the rest of that day except the lesson I learned:
I must keep telling myself to be happy when I’m feeling not-so happy. Telling myself to be happy every day has helped me ever since.
I remember being happy as a child, but at some point, mental illness attacked my mind. I am living and loving as much as I can, even with my mental illness. My support system is amazing and needed for the mental health issues I deal with on a daily basis.
My psychologist always asks me how life is going on a scale from 1-10. I used to say a consistent 7, sometimes 8. That’s pretty good, right? Along with making the decision to be happy, I also made the decision to reach some kind of 10 each day. That is pure happiness in life. I try to live one day at a time, and realize that positive self-talk is essential for living life to the fullest.
So is the glass half full or half empty? My psychologist and I talk about that sometimes. I told him last time that I already know the answer, so I don’t want to answer. If the glass is half full, then I’m an optimist. If the glass is half empty, then I’m a pessimist. I don’t really know what I am. I just try to turn those pessimistic moments into optimistic ones.
Happiness is your choice. Just choose to be happy.
Thanks for reading, everyone!