Monday, April 8, 2013

Mentally ill but not mentally still

The advances of medicine include medication for those that suffer from mental illness. This allows the victims of mental disease to control their issues under the direction of a doctor. So, what does this mean? This means that the social stigma associated with mental illness needs to be removed so that more people can have the opportunity for a better quality of life.

Mental illness is not a death sentence, it is a factor that affects millions of people and that can be treated with medication.Therefore quality of life can be improved and people can lead healthy lives.

I suffered from depression for many years until I decided to get help. Eight years ago I walked into a therapy office with my head hung low. I was so ashamed of having to talk to someone about my problems and  had the strongest fear that someone would recognize me and know that I was crazy. That was until I did some research and realized that I was not alone. Millions of people suffer from stress, depression, anxiety and countless other issues. However, only those that seek treatment are the ones that are able to break free from the chains that bind our mental health.

Just because a person is mentally ill does not mean that they have to stay mentally still. I sought treatment and I feel like a better person with a better life for taking that step.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The glass can be half empty

My dad is still around, I find it necessary to stay in touch with him and talk to him at least once a week. Part of me stays in touch with him just to view the slow decline that occurs in a person when their mind comes and goes. Another part of me stays in touch with him because there is a fundamental need to have a father. There are good days and there are bad days. More often than not the days are bad and I do not recognize the person that I once called dad.

The challenging part of talking to him is knowing that the person that you once knew is still there but "there" is covered up by another person that has inhabited their mind. The new person is angry, paranoid, agitated and has no concise. The new person picks and chooses what memories will be brought to light and then lashes out at the listener and darkens the memory.

At times, my father lashes out at me and interprets a simple comment as a paranoid insult. He insists that he knows my thoughts and I have offended him with out saying a word. I often wonder if after we speak he thinks about what I have said and then begins to add paranoid thoughts to a perfectly innocent conversation. At first, I would become very angry and take his words very personally; however, I have learned to ignore them.

I try to hold onto the moments of clarity as much as I can. Sometimes he laughs at my jokes and is able to be my dad for a little while. I live for these days, the days that I can have a little glimmer of hope and picture what my life would have been like to have a dad. On those great days I imagine what it would be like to have lunch with my dad, go to the mall with my dad and ask him for advice. I wonder what it would be like to have my dad walk me down the isle on my wedding day. I then remember that I would never have that moment, I would not even be able to invite him to the wedding because of the outburst that occur.

On those days I see the glass as half empty and I try my hardest to move on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Part of enduring a childhood riddled with uncertainty and emotional outbursts are flashbacks. Flashbacks are exactly what you think that they are. On any given day, a smell, a sound or a person with an angry tone can trigger flashbacks to my childhood war zone. The flashbacks can last a few seconds or the rest of the day. I replay the events that happened so many years ago and wonder what I could have done differently to change the outcome. In my flashbacks the outcome is always the same so it becomes a mental torture to a certain extent. Recently, I have channeled the flashbacks into future opportunities. I imagine 100 different possibilities that would have ended in a positive outcome. This alleviates my anxiety and helps me manage daily situations in a better way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My eariest memory

My earliest memory takes place on a plane. I remember knowing that my parents were going to Miami, Fl all the way from Bogota, Colombia. The plane was not full and my mother allowed me to lay down on a row of three blue chairs next to where her and my father sat. As I lay down I felt a sense of comfort on the soft cloth chairs and I fell asleep. Soon after, I woke up and we had already left the airport. My parents took a cab to a nearby hotel and we had dinner at a local McDonald's. I ate chicken mcnugets with bbq sauce. I remember thinking that the food was delicious and like nothing I had ever tasted before. That memory stayed with me for 6 years, because that was the next time I ate at a McDonald's again. 

I remember always having a feeling of uneasiness, knowing that there was something wrong but not knowing exactly what the problem was. That night I don't remember my father much, I remember my mother, feeling her angst and her fear. I did not know that at that moment we were embarking on a life changing event.


Follow me as I navigate my family history in order to heal the years that I endured under a mentally disturbed father. My story will be told through the eyes of a child, a teenager and an adult. Overall, you will find that there is a hope in God, healing and love. The wounds of the past do not have to dictate the happiness of the future.