30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

Welcome to all who are seeing this blog for the first time coming over from the Invisible Illness Awareness Week website! My blog seeks to let sick moms know that they are not alone, as well as educate healthy people about those of us with chronic, invisible illnesses.

Besides answering this year’s topic “What Are You Fighting For?“, the website is also doing a “30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know” meme.

So here I go:

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know:

1. The illness I live with is: I’ve been diagnosed with many such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes but I am currently fighting bipolar disorder and more specifically, bipolar depression.

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2012, after my suicide attempt.

3. But I had symptoms since: 2011

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Learning to deal with hospitalization for my mental health.

5. Most people assume: That I am crazy and sometimes I think they are right!

6. The hardest part about mornings are: I am on disability so I don’t work. I also suffer from Hypersomnia so I take a pill in the morning to help me get up. Depending on how depressed I am mornings are not too bad for me. I drive my son to school.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Don’t watch ’em!

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Google Maps, the app!

9. The hardest part about nights are: Actually, the nights are the easiest because I am mentally drained from the day. I also take something to help me sleep. I thank God I’ve made it to bedtime every night!

10. Each day I take 15 pills & vitamins and up to 20 if I’m having a bad day with anxiety. (No comments, please)

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: really don’t believe in them, personally. I honestly feel I need medication.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I would still choose an invisible illness so I could protect my privacy.

13. Regarding working and career: I no longer work, I am on disability. I had a good career and was doing well but when I was diagnosed with Lupus I could no longer go on working. I miss it; pretty work clothes, dealing with people, and knowing that I am not able to give my son the opportunities he deserves because I cannot work.

14. People would be surprised to know: That my worst delusion ever was when I thought I was a prophet, ranking right under Jesus Christ in importance!

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That I can’t be the mom that I dreamed I would be.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Having chronic illnesses made me feel like I had something to share and so I began to blog.

17. The commercials about my illness: I don’t see any for bipolar, just depression.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Being able to go somewhere fun with my son without it being so hard.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: My sanity!

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: As I mentioned, blogging.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Take my son to the beach or to a fair without feeling like I am forcing myself to go.

22. My illness has taught me: That there are so many out there like me and that so many people have it worse than I do.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: When I am depressed, when people say that I should just let myself be happy.

24. But I love it when people: When I meet someone and I am comfortable enough to share that I have bipolar disorder and they have a story about them, a relative or a friend who has mental illness as well. It is important to get a dialog going.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: I’m not sure where this is from but it talks about Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh: “One awesome thing about Eeyore is that even though he is basically clinically depressed, he still gets invited to participate in adventures and shenanigans with all of his friends And they never expect him to pretend to feel happy, they just love him anyway, and they never leave him behind or ask him to change.”

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That there is help and hope and that medical science is researching for the answers, and that we’ve come so far already.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: You realize who your true friends and family are.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My friend and her husband cleaned my house, another friend made a big meal for my family.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I think it is a great way to educate well people about people with chronic, invisible diseases.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: that you are truly interested in learning how to accept people with mental illness.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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