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by Paige

I Always felt I was different. When I was around 7 years old in the first grade, I would cry because I felt empty. I just didn’t get why I had this feeling. I was always daydreaming. I loved writing songs, stories and poems. When I would write, I felt like I could control my life, my story.

Around 7th grade I was 14 and I remember having feelings of wanting to just die. Not for people to feel sorry for me or as a selfish reason, but because I felt like a burden. I tried cutting myself with a pencil in class and someone told the school counselor. I went into her office and she said I was to tell my parents.

I was terrified. I have a great relationship with my mom now, but growing up I felt here’s this 24 year old woman with 3 kids. The guy who helped make us didn’t want us. I know she loved us, but she was stressed. We took away her freedom. We always had food, but it wasn’t the most stable childhood. Lots of screaming, my mom drinking. I remember this smell and it would smell good and later to find out she was dating a guy that sold pot. She started leaving me home alone at 8 years old to go out to the bars. I had 2 younger brothers. Drew and Ryan. I was constantly worrying and scared my mom was going to die.

Anyways when I was 13 my mom met Shawn. He was 27 and they fell in love. He was such a nice guy and actually talked to my brothers and I. My mom wasn’t going out hardly anymore since being with shawn so I felt less worry.

So back to having to tell my mom about me cutting myself. I had a whole weekend to do it. So I wait until sunday night while her and Shawn are in bed talking. I walk into their room and just start crying. I told her I had to tell her because the school will call her tomorrow to make sure I did. I know my mom didn’t mean what she said that night after I told her about cutting my wrist. I left the room still crying and scared. I didn’t have an open relationship with my mom then. Shawn came into the hallway and gave me a sincere hug. It was like I had a real dad. He told me he has had feelings like that before and it will be ok. That night Shawn earned my trust and he’s my dad. He’s the calmer in our family. Loving 3 kids at 27 as your own had to be tough, but he did.

As I approached high school I kept busy with school and got a job as soon as I could. Growing up not having money, I thought by making my own it would make me happy.

10th grade I got my first serious older boyfriend. He was a senior. We would drink on the weekends. I lost my virginity to him at 16. We were together about a year and then I met Beau my junior year. It was instant love. We were together pretty much everyday I didn’t work or was in choir or cheerleading. He went to a private Catholic school and played basketball. Every weekend we were drinking with his friends. He was into smoking weed. Not something I chose to do.

2 days before my 19th birthday in May we decided to do ecstasy. That night I think I went into a manic state. It was terrifying. I thought I was dying then I would see things. After doing the ecstasy the days after I just went into depression. I tried to keep busy but just felt empty. After graduation, Beau was going to a college up north to play college basketball and I had got a scholarship to the university of southern Indiana.

God had other plans. The August we were going away to college, I find out I’m pregnant. Naive me didn’t think I could get pregnant bc we didn’t use protection over a year. So beau still goes to college and I stay home and go to the community college. I didn’t want to be a mom. Especially at 19. My mom became a mom at 19 and she didn’t seem happy.

March 23, 2005 Gabrielle Paige came into our lives. The love that entertained my life that day can never be explained in words. I was a mother. The support and help our parents have givin us and still continue to give is amazing and I am so thankful.

Beau and I broke up when we were 20 and Elle was only 4 months. I didn’t have feelings for him anymore.

At 21 I was selfish and wanted to go out and live my life. Elle was with my parents or beaus parents. We weren’t ready to be parents.

The drinking, stress and lack of sleep. I had a maniac breakdown episode.

I remember bits and pieces of that night. I called my mom crying bc I felt weird. I felt like the tv was communicating with me. I had this huge burst of energy which felt like a power. I was seeing shadows.

Now if you don’t get sleep your brain can play some crazy tricks on you. Plus the stress of working, going to school, having your own apartment with a 1 year old can really mess with you. I was taken by ambulance to home hospital. When the cops arrived I was paranoid and thought my mom was trying to kill me and I was dying of a heart attack. I heard voices. I thought I was controlling the police force. I was having a maniac episode.

When I got to the hospital it felt like a dream. I was givin a drug test because they thought maybe I was drugged. No drugs. The doctor came in and said I was maniac. My mom and dad were there with the most worried looks. I had no clue why I was delusional. I was put on the psych unit for a week. I had a journal and I kept worrying someone in my family was going to die. I just had crazy feelings that week and they were giving meds. Zombie mode meds.

My 2nd hospitalization happened 2 years later. I was 23. I found my brother dead and went into a shock maniac episode.

I have been hospitalized a total of 3 times. Failed suicide attempts that I’ve lost count. The last time I tried to committ suicide was 2 years ago. I took Atleast 60 pills. I had an epiphany. I should have been dead. I want to live. God has a plan for me. I always will probably have to take meds and see a doctor. I have seen angels. God is real and my daughter’s need me and I need them. I am 30 years old now and have accepted my illness, but I will not let it define me. I have had failed relationships and people have tried to put me down and use this as my weakness. I am not weak. I am strong and I take each day by day. I have my days. I sleep, I avoid people. I just feel different and because I may look normal because I am pretty. I struggle to get through life. I think laughter is a great medicine. I’ve made it this far and I’m not giving up ever! I trust in God. My relationship with my mom is better than ever. She’s my best friend. She has seen me through the lowest and never gives up on me. Life is crazy beautiful. 🙂

-Paige

-thanks for letting me share my story. I feel my purpose in this life is to help others. We are not alone and we aren’t crazy bc we have a mental illness.

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