My theme, by the way, was Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. Little did I know how relevant this would become after April 11th when I made an attempt on my life (my first true suicide attempt in a long career of depression and mental health struggles).
Thankfully we're keeping a much closer eye on my medications and my ECT treatment taper now. The hubby is especially cautious whenever I'm withdrawn or quiet and I'm grateful for his concern and care.
Some might say that it's attention-seeking writing so openly about this, but for me it's a political act against the stigma of mental health issues and the extreme isolation they cause. I do not think I'm some attention whore seeking "oohs and aahs," but rather a hurting soul sharing her story so that others struggling with their own pain might feel encouraged to speak up or reach out for help, companionship, reassurance, encouragement, or simply a listening ear.
It's not a bad thing to ask for exactly what you need and if anyone reading this contacts me with specific concerns, please feel free to include a phrase along the lines of, "I just need some reassurance" or "I just need to know that I'm not alone" or "I just need a few kind words to keep me going," because you wouldn't be the only one, the first one, or the last to need a little something to help you along your way-and I would be happy to provide that support if I possibly could!
*sigh* It's such a hard road sometimes. I know that many of my readers understand this completely. It's such a hard road sometimes. Sometimes it's wonderful and beautiful and rewarding, and sometimes it's a challenge just to make it out of bed but we're not alone in this and I think that this is one very important thing that the challenge did for me, was remind me that I'm not alone in my struggles.
Sure, mine are unique, but they are also shared in a certain way among thousands of my comrades and it's good to remember that every time I survive one more day I survive not just for myself and my family and my friends but all those people struggling with the same diseases and diagnoses that I so often conceal from the world and try to ignore. We're all battling these things together. As we survive, we honor each other's value and lives through our existence.
Yeah, this is dramatic but I think it's very true. Nothing matters until we decide it matters and there is increasing push toward valuing and encouraging quality living no matter what our disease, which is a very beautiful thing in a sometimes heartless world.
So I bid farewell to this year's "A to Z Challenge" and my theme of Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive by calling our attention to these heavy, important, challenging topics one more time and taking with me for the long haul a new comfort level in discussing my personal story and my personal pain more openly on my blog than I may have before this challenge in the hopes of helping just one other soul on their journey to wellness... and helping myself live well for myself and my family as well!
Be well, everyone, and thank you for reading.