I can't believe that it is one month away from 2014. I turned 44 this past August. When I was a young girl I never dreamed at 44 I would have dealt with all that has been thrown my way since I turned 30.
When I left my little hometown of Bristol, PA in July of 1997, I was on the trip of a lifetime. I was going to a place where I could go to college and find a haven to write. Writing has been a passion of mine since I could write. I would write stories about anything, even if it was something inconsequenchel to others, I would take it and bring it to life. I once wrote a story about a leaf that fell off a tree and all the things "he" did while being blown around. But life had a different plan for me and I am still trying to figure out what it is.
I was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of 23. I suffered with bouts of depression through my teens, but my home life was tough and I never was really pushed towards anything. My writing wasn't shared with any kind of encouragement. Every so often my Mom would talk about a story I wrote that I got an A on, but I feel like I was a giant disappointment to my parents and to others in my family. Feeling like you failed people is a really hard way to get where you think would make you happy because that fear of failure just keeps you frozen. They did not understand the illness that I had to deal with and it seems that no one did. I worked while dealing with my illness by not taking meds, but by not taking proper care of my manic depression it left me open to have terrible bouts of depression or mania that would cause me to miss work.When I left PA I came to California and got a job working with juvenile deliquents, I met new people through church and was writing. I felt so good. Totally broke, but good. I dated around and then met someone I fell head over heels for. After we had been together a few years we got engaged. I thought I would spend all my life with him until he came to my job and broke off our engagement for a nonsense, excuse of a reason. I was working full time and going to school where I just finished the semester with a 4.0. When that engagement was broken off, I felt like the mirror of success that I saw when I looked into cracked into a million pieces, blowing into my face and hair. That break-up caused my plateau of my manic depression to come roaring back.
Then around the age of 31, I went back east for Christmas and it was a really nice Christmas, except for New Year's. I went to visit an old schoolmate at his parents for a New Year's party. My friend asked me to get him something from his house, which was right across the street. So I was walking up to his house and it had snowed the day before, so the snow would melt and then turn to ice at night. Well, I didn't see the black ice and I slipped and fell on the ice, knocking me unconscious. When I came to I had a nice big lump on the back of my head, but no blood, so I just ignored it. When I got back to my home in California, I started to have seizures. The seizures were a direct link from my fall on the black ice. So due to those 2 illnesses, my Doctor's deemed me disabled and I was no longer able to work. After awhile, not working really sucked, but it worked out for a couple of reasons. Since I didn't work, I was able to go back east and care for my Mom while she was sick with her terminal cancer and I have been able to help out other family members when needed, plus I was able to concentrate on my writing.( If I wasn't so ashamed of failing maybe I would have something finished and published)
Before the big "event" in May of 2011, I helped an old friend with a new business venture. While helping her, I felt better about myself and thought that I would start looking for a real job. But the universe had a different plan for me. I started getting sick to my stomach in the summer of 2007 and each year up to December of 2010, my bouts of vomiting became closer and closer together. When they started in 2007 I got sick for one day and maybe just one time every 2-3 months and by the end of December 2010 until May of 2011 I would get sick all the time. Because of my manic depression already being an object in the minds of my family, some family members thought I was doing this on purpose. Which is something a) I would never do. I hate to get sick to my stomach, so I wouldn't do it on purpose and b) I was in a good place, I was working in a bookstore, while looking into finishing up my degree in geriatric studies, so I could get out of the bad paying job cycle, so I had no reason to want to kill myself. Plus if anyone every looked into why and what suicide is, mostly for women it is a cry for help. For me, for the most part, when I did try, it was an accident because I couldn't sleep. December 26,2010 will forever be printed in my mind because on that day at 4 am was when I began to vomit almost everyday until my esophagus burst and killed my stomach on that fateful day in May
The hardest thing that I live with besides my physical pain is my emotional pain. Having a life altering illness is a lonely life. People probably think that I have people with me, but I'm alone most of the time, unless I'm in a skilled care facility and this may sound strange, but at times I like being there because I'm not alone. So I sign off on this cloudy November day in California. God Bless and keep close to those you love.