Mental Illness 101: one woman’s final message about overcoming

I have asked my son to help me with this editorial, because he has much more education than I and a much better vocabulary of the Queen’s English.

I have asked my son to help me with this editorial, because he has much more education than I and a much better vocabulary of the Queen’s English.

Kevin already knows that I don’t want a funeral or memorial service. That this will be published in every newspaper that will accept it, after I’m gone, and that all possible will read it. That my words help one person, or one family, will be my life made worthy and complete.

It is a terrible reality to wake up to every morning — every morning — knowing that you have got something wrong with you, and also knowing that there is nothing that you can do about it, without time, without others’ help.

My life has been wonderful and fantastic, especially my senior years. There has been an immense amount of fun. Have a positive attitude and true faith in your God. Never take anyone, or anything, for granted. The glory is in doing a good deed, not in the glory of doing it. I have no regrets.

There have also been a lot of dark times in my life, however.

The post-pregnancy depression that is so common with women, I could not get over. There is so much help available now, in the way of therapy and drugs. Little was available in the 1950s and the ’60s. Little was known in the medical community about manic-depressive illness, or mental illness in general.

People get sick and people get healthy. This is the same mentally as well as physically. Just because you don’t see it, does not mean it is not there.

It amazes and infuriates me, the number of people who go to a doctor with a minor injury, such as a couple of broken toes.

Yet they, or their families, will use a denial mindset when they have a mental illness. Quite often, it just takes one little pill and they can live normally ever after.

This stigma attached to mental illness is absolute garbage. One would think we have advanced further as a civilization. Obviously not.

Never quit or abandon your family or community. Your family must always know that you are there for them. There may be times that you have to step aside from someone sick, to save your own sanity, but no matter the time, distance, or illness, never quit on them.

Ellen Emmons

Centennial Hospital, Ponoka

September 2010

Submitted by Kevin Emmons, Red Deer

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