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I am still here, and taking it a day at a time

At 18 years old my world imploded.

The condoms were two feet away and he knew I didn’t want to have sex. I had said “no” many times. I remember the white ceiling and curling into a ball, my brain trying to understand what had happened while he cracked a joke.

A few weeks later the pregnancy test quietly ushered in the collapse of my world. On Oct. 11, 1996, my son was born and postpartum psychosis crept into our lives. While my son would scream, I’d bang my head on walls, trying to make the pain stop.

I have spent the better part of the last 22 years shoving everything into the abyss of my toes, while building walls to keep others out, that my body has forgotten how to feel. My muscles tense up, my stomach ties itself in knots and emotionally I roll into the fetal position.

Every day I wake from a fog of nightmares into a body that physically hurts to get out of bed. I get dressed, take my pills, go to school and check into Facebook. I look after my family, I make dinner and I pretend everything is okay.

I have seen many counsellors but resources are spread thin and keeping a good counsellor is hard. Funds get cut, my counsellor is let go and I start all over again.

My only constant has been my family doctor. He has listened and supported me for 22 years. I’m grateful but he’s a medical doctor, not a therapist. He keeps my pill bottles filled but he lacks the tools to do more than listen.

Pills are bandages without proper therapy. If the pills work, they allow you the semblance of functioning while the world doesn’t have to acknowledge your struggles.

Despite everything, however, I am still here.

Still here to hurt, to fight, to write and to love. Some days are really hard and though I can’t afford it, I order pizza for dinner and let everything else go.

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