17

I missed World Mental Health day… because I was having a bad mental health day.
Apparently, mental health is what I am known for so I don’t want to skip out of addressing it entirely.
I was having a bad mental health day because I am adjusting to new meds. Full disclosure, I hate medications. They are a great gift that comes with a lot of struggle. Meds can be lifesavers and life changers… IF you can find the right one and the right dosage.
Meds are like Facebook. They can be a great tool that brings people together… and they can also function like angry internet trolls who make us turn into people we are not in the comment section.

It’s been a long time since I have been on a daily med. Because nothing seemed to work. Anti-depressants never quite fixed my depression. Because, while I was depressed, my problem was not depression. In fact, several of them made things worse or shut me down completely. I would go numb. I could have watched a murder happen in front of me and just sat there thinking, “Huh.”

I’ve been fighting mental illness outright since I was 20. That’s 17 years of fighting for answers, a cure, a solution, a life-raft. Seventeen years of assessing what kind of day I would be having before my eyelids even opened and dreading the answer. Seventeen years of people tilting their heads at me wondering why I was the way I was and why I did what I did.

A phrase I heard ALL the time was, “There is something wrong with Andrea.”

And there was. But the science concerning what was wrong with me wasn’t even being studied yet.

Now I am on a new daily med. For a new diagnosis. That leaves me with 17 years of a basket full of diagnosis: Depression. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Trauma. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Addictive Personality Disorder. Sensory disorder. Misophonia. Etc.
And now ADHD.
And I started a med.
And it is working.

17 years and something is working.

Some people don’t even give their marriages that long.
Wars don’t even last that long.
One year shy of raising a child.
Almost two decades.
Three different presidencies.
That’s Kindergarten to a college degree.

Keep. Fighting.
Keep doing the hard things.
Keep facing the dark places.
Keep going.

I don’t know how long it will take for you or if finding something that works will ever happen. But my journey has been worth it for me. I’ve found who I am through it all. I know what I want to do with the rest of my life because of it. I’ve faced the darkest things in me and that have happened to me and I survived.

You will too.

My greatest weakness became my greatest weapon.

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