A Positive Mid-Life Crisis

September 2016 to September 2017

It has been an emotional year for me. This is the first year after the passing of my younger brother, the other pea in my pod, my kindred spirit.

Between his passing and me being in my 40’s, it has also been the beginning of my mid-life crisis, so to speak. I want to live the life my brother was not able to live. Something I’ve wanted to do since 2nd grade when my teacher, Sr. Ann Francis, praised me for a poem I had written, was to be a writer.  The pursuit of writing had always been pushed down to the bottom of my to-do list. Other activities took precedent. Schooling, college, marriage, job, child, family. The career path I took was one of being an English teacher. Throughout the years, teaching has been a beat down. It’s not just teaching, its paperwork, politics, micro-managing, long hours, little free time. Yes, there are positives, as well, but since my first year of teaching, I knew I couldn’t do it forever. Well, this is my twentieth year. Hmmm…

Being an educator in a school system has not been beneficial to my health, especially since I already struggle with depression and anxiety. Teaching has compounded my struggle. The weight of mental illness has been enormous, and there are days where I cannot seem to carry it. There have been a couple years where I’ve had to take time off work for months due to mental breakdowns.

This past May, I decided it’s past time for me to pursue something for which I have such fervor. Continue reading “A Positive Mid-Life Crisis”

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”