Musings From a Mentally Ill Mother


It is one week past TeenThing’s diagnosis.

Into week 2 on her meds.

So far nothing scary in the land of side effects.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that it stays this way.

I have been taking time to shuffle through the boxes I have compartmentalized, because let’s face it, if I don’t, this whole household will be scattered.

A few things have gone on since our doctor’s visit this week.  One of them being some not so supportive opinions to TeenThing being on meds.

Let’s be clear:

  • She will be 19 in a few days (and by the time most folks read this post).
  • She is a grown human and fully capable of saying no to something she doesn’t want.
  • This isn’t something we just “discovered” and said “Hey doc, how about some dope?” (which, by the way, is not given out like candy at Halloween), we have been on this journey for at least a couple of years now.  When we got rid of the birth control (she had some female issues) 95% of the her symptoms were still there.  FOR MONTHS.

If she had a “regular” disease like cancer, would she be chastised for having chemotherapy? NO.

Mental illness is AN ILLNESS. Depression and anxiety are not something you just GET OVER.  Treatment is required when you have tried to fix it yourself and can’t do it alone.  There is no shame in asking for help and receiving it.  It really is about time people start thinking this way.  I know EVERYONE is saying this now, but it is true, AND NOT HAPPENING.

I am used to the stigma surrounding mental illness.  It’s sad that I am used to it.

BUT….the other thing that has happened is this:

On the way home tonight I made a decision.

Not only will my place be a safe haven of blanket forts for both myself and TeenThing, it will be an amazing world where we can both talk about how weird and awesome we are.

No judgement.

Full on support for sharing all the dark and light times.

A place where when I say “OH MY GOD GET AWAY FROM ME.” and no one bats an eye or gets offended because I need my space.

A place where TeenThing can camp out in her room all day and read, and watch YouTube, and recharge her batteries and not feel like she is isolating herself from the world, because this is just a small part of her world.

I cannot tell you how comforting that little epiphany was.

I was afraid I was going to go into a tailspin myself over the past little while.  But I didn’t.  All good on the Mama front for now.

I think we’ll be okay.

If anything, we aren’t going to be boring 😉




9 thoughts on “Musings From a Mentally Ill Mother

  1. I don’t know what it’s like to be the mom figure in this situation but my journey has many of the same characteristics as “teen thing”.

    To: Teen Thing.
    celebrate the moments no matter how small, when the crap hits the fan (it will) remember that you have the best mom ever and a very understanding capable relationship.
    From: Charlotte Flewelling

    I wish I had a better relationship with my parents growing up (I started my mental illness journey at 11). Now that I’m older things are decent. We still have our issues, but who doesn’t with their parents.

    Amy you’re amazing, thoughtful and a supportive person. I appreciate it.



  2. Opinions and … well … you know!

    I know you are a wonderful mother and I know you have a great kid – I’ve met her. I know.

    People are pretty funny when it comes to things that don’t affect them in the least, aren’t they? *side eyes*

    Makes me think of this, “Wolves don’t ever lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.” 😉

    I am just happy that you are well and that Teen Thing feels safe enough to share scary stuff with her mother. This says so much about your family. ❤


    1. Amy L.

      Thank you so much fellow Mama Bear. It is hard enough to get through the day to day these days. I’m fine if someone doesn’t agree with the decision we made, but it was our decision. A “I’m so sorry to hear she’s going through this” would have been sufficient. I’d cut off an appendage of it meant she would not have to deal with these demons.

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