A Family Reunion …

387989_10150432692882192_59453552191_8437691_1806182052_nJodi Arias has saturated the news lately.  Her and her heinous, unspeakable crime.  I was glued to the television for weeks. Arias is a clinically-documented Borderline for which there is no medicinal treatment … only years of intense therapy.  I watched her on that screen. Sitting next to her attorney. Up on the witness stand. So often, she showed no emotion. Other times she did, but it was not normal.  Borderlines will do this … convert to another human being.

Dear friends of mine experienced first-hand a Borderline Personality Disorder.  One morning, their daughter was gone … in came a child no one knew. Deceit and violence followed. The trust was gone, but the love for their baby went nowhere.

I am Bipolar; Bipolar I to be specific. That means the only thing constant in my world is change. Transformations that knock my socks off to this very day. In years past, before I got my illness under “control,” my behavior was so often dangerous … I was not me … another Lee Ann was on the scene. This one had no limits … it was horrible! She found herself locked in a Psychiatric Ward many, many times.

But now I’m back, by the grace of God.

All mental illnesses are related. Cousins, so to speak. A family reunion comprised of all types of mental illnesses! Let’s see, there’s Schizophrenia, Bipolar I and II, Bordeline Personality Disorder, Bulimia, Anorexia, the Phobia’s, OCD’s, Multiple Personalities, Depressives, Manics … I’m certain I left some out. Can you imagine such a gathering??? 383779_10150401307302192_59453552191_8340306_1291458563_n

Calgon, take me away!

I want to make a point: these mental illnesses all derive in the brain. That is their common thread. They are all to be taken seriously. Worst case scenarios include suicide, homicide … and all are difficult at best to control … mine still brings me to my knees when it has a mind to.

For anyone affected by mental illness, I can suggest prayer … bold, aggressive prayer.  Learn to recognize the symptoms. You don’t have to take the road I traveled.  I hit a brick wall then fell back into the arms of God. I was lucky. He had me in His hands. But I had to want to be there. To this day, I know this is what saved me. My faith in God and my supportive, loving family.

Please, never give up on a loved one affected with mental illness. And, if it’s you who’s affected, never give up on yourself or your dreams … and find your rest in the arms of God.

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10 thoughts on “A Family Reunion …

  1. evamarieeverson says:

    As usual, LeeAnn, your words hit home. I have been watching the news about Amanda Bynes. Call her crazy, if you want to. Titched in the head. Bottom line is that until you UNDERSTAND IT, you should not try to condemn it or call it by name. And when you DO understand it, you will not pass judgment, because you will know. It can happen to you. It can happen to someone you love. Mental health disorders are ruthless. They know no boundaries. They don’t care if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist. They don’t care if you have money or if you are poor. They don’t care if you love life and have a life that loves you back. They don’t care if you have family who loves you or are all alone in the world.

    But they are NOT a death sentence. They are NOT the end of the road. They are a BEND in the road if people will stop judging them and those who have them and will understand the way the mind works, how medication affects them–puts them in their place! And that prayer, oh sweet prayer, is the greatest treatment of all.

    Don’t forget Anti-social behavior disorder, Oppositional defiance disorder, Narcissism, Histrionic, OCD, ADHD, ADD … So, so many …

    Love the kitty … LOL

    Eva Marie Everson
    Friend and Family Member to Those with Mental Health Issues

    1. leeannjefferies says:

      I could not agree more! If I had not face all the stigma I have, I could have concentrated on improving … I would have validation … not a woman people would rather ignore, shun, whisper about. Shame on them! if I had cancer (I have had cancer which sent my Bipolar to another planet), diabetes, ect … no one would say a thing to hurt me.

      I SO APPRECIATE YOU!!
      Lee Ann

  2. Kitty Newton says:

    Lee Ann and Eva Marie,
    My 14 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with bipolar and major depressive disorder with psychotic features in January 2013. Life as we had previously known it ended. Now our days are filled with appointments – psychiatrist, counselor, drug store, school to talk to teachers, go to the ER for mental health eval because she has been cutting herself again, inpatient treatment at a mental health facility, and the list goes on and on. . . . never knowing what to expect or when to expect it. . . . will she cut today? will she steal something from the store? or from a friend? or from one of us? will she experience side effects from the new medicine or will it help ?
    We are doing all we can to help her through medications and counseling and very importantly through educating ourselves and her about her illnesses. I am confident that the God who created her is well able to heal her and prayer is our constant source of strength. She is a Christian and when she is doing well on her meds, she enjoys participating in church, etc. School has been a challenge since January because she suffered from visual and auditory hallucinations before she started meds and unfortunately shared these with her teachers and peers (believing them to be true)

    Without the prayers of our church family and friends, I would hate to think how we could manage. We look forward to better days ahead but still try to steal ourselves and prepare for the ups and downs that will inevitably come our way and hers.

    My husband and I have raised this child and her sister – who is now eleven – since they were 8 months and three and a half years old.

    Looking to the future with HOPE!!!!
    Rev Kitty Newton

    1. leeannjefferies says:

      GOD BLESS YOU! All of you are so lucky to share your love thru God Almighty …He is our salvation, Mighty Counselor, Prince of Peace …our Creator. He WILL have His mighty hand your granddaughter and give her strength … as He will all of you!

  3. Celeste Vaughan says:

    You truly do shed a great light on mental disorders. I found myself in a psychiatric ward once too…but for detox. Uggghhhh. I’m glad I’m back too 🙂 God is absolutely amazing. Thank goodness there’s nothing he can’t overcome! (John 16:33) BTW…I LOVE your pictures in the post. We have two cats and they made me lol!

  4. FleaByte says:

    Oh Lee Ann. What a road! I’ve asked myself many times over the last twenty years if this might be what possession looks like. God hasn’t given me definitive answers, but He’s given me a measure of peace. And a good dose of hope. Thank you for sharing hope.

    1. leeannjefferies says:

      Oh, thank you for sharing with me!! God has been my hope, my strength and my salvation. Times when I almost gave in … He lifted me up … Love Lifted me, right?? Let’s keep in touch! My page is here … LIKE it and we can stay in touch! Thanks again …:)

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