Life

A Thousand Painful Words….

I’ve tried writing this post a thousand times, and each time I write over a thousand words…then I delete it all.

So let me try again.

The premise of this blog is the crazy adventure I’m on with my husband, kids, and our zoo of rescue pets…but it’s hard to update a blog and keep it funny and REAL when there’s so much background pain.

I have never hidden the fact I struggle with mental illness.

I do not hide the fact my husband had combat-related PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury).

What I have hidden from everyone is the pain and hurt it has caused.

I came to the realization last night, the relationship with my husband is in trouble and I feel emotionally abused.

It’s painful.

While he is absolutely the BEST father in the world to our children, I am currently living in a hell on earth.

My struggle has been, do I let this out? Do I put it out there for all the world to see? Or do I just suffer in silence and wish we had a better relationship?

If I DO put it out there, it could negatively affect my writing and yoga career. If I continue to hide it, no one else struggling with the same issues will see they are not alone.

It IS lonely in this place. There are others in this space. I know they are there….in the distance, suffering, and in pain. So I decided to let it out.

Though I know I should blame the combat and his eight years in the Marines, it’s hard to find solace in this, knowing we don’t connect, knowing I feel alone, worrying about the drinking, cheating, lying, money spending.

It sounds like a mess.

It is a mess.

It’s painful.

I could sit here and tell you all the horrible things he has done, but that does nothing to help anyone. Some of it is unbelievable….like when I thought he was going to kill me in the garage when he was on a drunken rampage talking about things from his deployments, specifically Iraq.

Can I hang on?

What about my kids?

I guess the focus of this blog must change.

I guess I need to refocus my life in general.

I’m 36 and in a lonely place, when I wanted to be settled, accomplished, and happy.

I am none of those things right now.

So if you’re a military spouse, if you know someone with mental illness, if you have mental illness…you…are…not…alone in this lonely, lost place.

 

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Life

Tanski Talks: My Mental Illness

I have Major Depressive Disorder. It’s not a secret. I’m not ashamed. Sure, I know some people judge because of the stigma around mental illness and being “crazy” but remember, I am currently writing the book on crazy…literally! Visit my Author website to see an excerpt from my book Literary Crazy.

Anyway….. Scott Tankski. Scott Tanski plays for the South Carolina Stingrays (hockey). Last night we had the pleasure of meeting him in person. He organzied the Meet N’ Greet as a “Thank you” to fans who purchased his “Tankski Talks” t-shirts. Money raised from the shirts is being donated to the mental health clinic here in the LowCountry, which I might add, actually saved my life once.

Here is a picture of one of my BFF’s Mersadies, me, Liam, Scott Tanski, Bill, Talia, Big Garrett (Mersadies hubby) and their son, Little Garrett.

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Tanski was personally touched by the story of Daron Richardson, the daughter of a 20 year NHL player (Luke Richardson) who lost her battle to mental illness at age 14. He designed the t-shirts to raise awareness, get people talking, and support local organizations.

Click HERE to listen to the interview of Scott Tanski.

Bill and I purchased a shirt for each of us, one for Talia, and one for my therapist who I will see for the last time before our big move, at the end of the month.

Here is a picture I stole from the SC Stingrays website of all the guys sporting the t-shirt.

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Scott could not have been any nicer. He signed Talia’s shirt for her and I told him (almost without crying) how the organization he is donating the money to saved my life once. (That is a whole other blog post!) He seemed to be appreciative of hearing the story and gave me his full attention, even with a line of people out the door to meet him.

Also this week, I got another tattoo…this one is the semi-colon. It’s not because I’m a writer, but because it serves as a reminder I could have ended my story, but decided not to.

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Project Semicolon was founded  by Amy Bleuel who started the semicolon tattoo trend. Sadly, she lost her mental illness battle last week, so it was time for me to get my tattoo for myself, and for Amy.

Some people get cancer, some people have diabetes, others live with IBS or an array of other medical issues. Some of us have mental illness. We need to start talking about it. We need to accept mental illness like we do other forms of illness. Let me know if you want to chat!

Military Spouse Life

I Refuse to “Think Pink” (So I Must Be An @$$ole)

Admittedly, this post should probably come at the beginning of October when store fronts start painting their windows pink and even bakeries start producing pink bagels (ewwww)…..but alas I could not wait another 10 months for this post….

Yesterday was the two year “anniversary” of the shooting in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some people remembered yesterday and talked on Facebook about “where they were when it I heard…..” and then today went back to life as we know it.

Not me.

I’m from Newtown. I was born in Danbury, and for a few short months lived in Southbury, but by the time I was a few months old, we moved (literally down the street) into Newtown. It’s where I learned to walk, talk, and bake. The logo for my bakery is of me under the willow tree in our back yard in Newtown, making MUDD pies and sharing them with the neighborhood dog, Pokey.

Even though I’ve lived in many other places since then, I still consider Newtown to be my hometown.

When Adam Lanza opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary, it could not have hit home anymore than it did, unless I had been there or was close with someone killed (I knew people and even went to high school with one of the teacher aids, but I was not close with any of them. I am not professing to be a victim. I’m heartbroken for my hometown).

Today as I checked Facebook for daily news (yes, that was a joke), I was outraged when someone I grew up with posted an article stating nine of the Newtown families (those who directly lost someone that day) have filed a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer for the gun Adam Lanza used, stating the gun should not be on the market, it has no value to civilians….

EXCUSE ME?????????

First off……this is a Second Amendment issue, and this post is not about that.

Second, Adam Lanza ILLEGALLY obtained the gun, so everyone can get off their “stricter gun laws” high horse.

Third, the issue is mental health, not gun laws. Criminals don’t follow gun laws. Those are a moot issue….but back to the mental health issue, and why I hate pink.

Americans are so proud to sport their pink bandannas, water bottles, shoes, dog collars, shirts, and cookies, saying “I support the cure for breast cancer…..” it’s almost sickening!

I can’t stand the pink.

I hate the “Save the Ta-tas” bumper sticker. I hate the pink water bottles. I hate how manufacturers try selling their goods based off making people feel like they are making a difference by buying a pink house-key for their key ring for $3.95, instead of a silver one for $.95. I hate how when we buy these things, we get on our high horses thinking we did something to end breast cancer.

Guess what folks? There is more to life than making yourself feel good for buying a pink cookie in October.

I’m not saying we should not find a cure for breast cancer. We should. However, what about finding a cure for AIDS? What about the 22 veterans who commit PTSD related suicide EVERY DAY? That number is based on the 23 states who report….not all 50, and it doesn’t account for the other veterans around the world!! What about the people with depression? I myself have major depressive disorder. I fight it EVERY DAY. There is no cure. Even with breast cancer, those people usually have a fighting chance to live a healthy life. I DO NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE DEPRESSIVE DISORDER FREE and it makes me angry that in the United States, we continue to sweep mental illness under the rug.

Newtown, CT is a perfect example of this.

We want to blame the people who make the gun? How about looking at Adam Lanza and his DOCUMENTED mental illness? What about his DOCUMENTED NON-COMPLIANT MOTHER who did not actively participate in his healthcare? Oddly, she is believed to be his first victim. How about looking at how our government shut down every last mental institution in the 1970’s and started pumping people full of medicine until they felt nothing at all? That is no way to treat mental illness!!!!

As a country, as a planet, we need to stop sweeping the real issue under the rug. It’s like suing McDonald’s because you’re fat. Maybe look at the reason why you are over-eating, instead. No-one at McDonald’s held a gun to your head and made you eat their food.

As a side note, please do not order a Big Mac, large fry, apple pie, and a diet coke. That doesn’t work either.

I’m waiting for people to wake up and see they need to stop with all this PINK bullshit and start looking at other issues plaguing our communities. Maybe I’m an asshole for being tired of seeing all those stupid pink rubber bracelets, but when was the last time you saw a green one for mental illness? When? Never?

I don’t need a pink window visor to make me feel better about myself. I would feel a lot better if we would open up and talk about the problems we have with mental illness, which happens to be a driving force for many things, including school shootings.

Stop talking about the guns like they grew legs and started killing children. Address the real issue. The mental health issue. It needs to be as prominent as the breast cancer awareness.

I’ll enter my first full marathon for a cause, when we start running for depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and the multitude of other mental illnesses we like to just sweep under the rug and pretend don’t exist.