JUST LIVE

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My father will be turning 96 in a few weeks. After living with us for almost three years, in 2009, he moved up north to his final residence, spending his days, in a 24/7 assisted living building, at a VA home, which is around a three hour drive from where I live.

We talk every day. He calls me from a phone in the hall. They have no private phones. It’s pretty bare bones there. I can’t get him a computer or even show him things online on my laptop when we visit except photos because only certain staff members have online access. At times, my father gets so bored, it almost drives him mad. Today, he shared some sad news. News that happens quite a bit, in the ward that he’s on. A, man, two doors down from his room passed away. In the morning. In his bed.

“You know, honey, you get to live as long as I have, and all your friends on the outside are gone. And just when I get to know this guy, and establish a real friendship, he dies. I just can’t believe it. I just talked to him yesterday, and now he’s gone.”

I spent the next hour grabbing words that would help him. All I could do was let him know that I understand. That I have friends who have died. With no warning. That I can probably count my closest living friends on one hand.

Death is something that a lot of people with mental health issues think of every day. Those with mental illness and those who are friends and loved ones. Hearing of the passing of someone I may not have known very well, or for a long time, can still be something that brings me to my knees. It’s just that way, for me. I don’t need to describe any further how it feels. Or how we process it. It’s one of the great (and hardest to accept) mysteries of the human experience.

I’m grateful that lately, when the thought of death comes,( pretty much on a daily basis) I’m able to let it sit before me for a moment so I can acknowledge it, then it moves on. Sometimes by itself, or with a little help from a power greater than myself.

Acceptance is usually the tool I use to control my sometimes desperate fear of death. In an ironic way, acceptance keeps me from slipping back into psychosis, which hasn’t come around for almost four and a half years.

My husband and I have lost a lot of friends and some family members, all in a span of a couple of years. It hurts. I grieve, and I accept. And somehow, I keep hanging on.

Peace of Mind & Love to You,
Nana

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My Goal

Through blogging, I want to share my story, life experiences & give hope to others struggling with mental health issues & the stigma that goes with it.

Although diagnosed late in life, and with many challenges through the years, I'm finally living life fully and gratefully, with my grandchild, family & friends! I hope to make some new friends here.

 

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Resources

Feeling suicidal? Please dial 911 or contact the following:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll free:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veteran's Suicide Prevention Hotline:
1-800-273-8255

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Psych Central
Mayo Clinic
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Disclaimer

Information presented on this blog is not a substitution for professional medical care and a treatment program. If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder or any other mental illness or mental health issue, please immediately seek the services and advise of a medical doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.