Wrestling with Life, Good and Bad?

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.

kids

“Not everything in life can be defined as good or bad. Sometimes things just happen, they just are.”

My mental health worker offered me that piece of advice, and I’ve been applying her thoughts to my life ever since. I’ve debated good vs. bad a number of times. Is that a good decision or a bad decision? Is this situation good or bad? I have spent years of my life lying around, trying to figure things out. The issues I’ve tried to figure out aren’t always good or bad. They just are.

Tiff

Sometimes bad voices are in my head, and it’s difficult to hear the good voices over all the noise. One night recently, I lay in my bed all night searching for answers. I needed the alone time to just think and figure out what was going on. Staying awake is an example of a bad decision on my part. My symptoms get worse when I’m tired. My brother was home for a few days, and he probably noticed that I was stuck in my own world. I was trying to figure something, anything out. My brother told me, “Maybe you should stop searching for answers and just live?” I agreed with him. Sometimes you don’t need an answer.

pregnancy

What should I tell my kids when they are old enough to understand why their dad and I aren’t together? My psychologist told me to tell them that I was infatuated with him. He was a musician and said things to me that caused me to respect him at the time. He said, “You’re the most beautiful girl in this place.” He also said he’d give anything to have kids. We were together for a few months and went our own way. I continued to pursue him because I didn’t understand what was going on. We connected again when my daughter was around three. We were together for a very short time, but I, once again, listened to his words. When I was a few months pregnant he left me. He said, “You love me, but I’ve never loved you.” HUH? Ok?! This complicated situation is an example of something in life that isn’t bad or good. I have two wonderful children from an unexplainable situation, so no worries. My kids have shown me what unconditional love is.
Dad
Another real life example is my dad. He was diagnosed with a chronic lung disease about thirteen years ago. From my perspective, my dad having lung disease has not necessarily been good or bad. Personally, his disease has given me hope. I’ve wanted to become the best person that I can be, given the circumstances. He is moving forward trying to get on the list for a lung transplant. His fate is in God’s hands.

cloudsMy final example is my consumption of prescription medications. When the medication is working, I feel great most of the time. If one of my medications is off, I usually know. I go into my own world, start talking to the voices more than normal, and almost feel trapped. I know there is a way out, though, as long as I figure out what medication changes need to be made. I try to inform all the parties that need to know, including my family members, mental health worker, psychologist and psychiatrist. My close friends and family can usually tell when I’m not acting like myself, as well. My mental health condition is considered a chronic disease. To be on prescription medication is not good or bad. It just is what it is. Now to get the prescription dosage right!

Hopefully these examples have illustrated that I attempt to turn what could be bad situations into neutral ones, at least. Maybe you’ve experienced some of the same situations I’ve been in, and understand how difficult life can be sometimes?! Many great things can come from messed up relationships and situations.

“Not everything in life can be defined as good or bad. Sometimes things just happen, they just are.”

Tiffany

  1. Jody Sparkman says:

    Great writing Tiffany!

  2. Paula M says:

    I always enjoy your posts, Tiffany. Beautiful writing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.