Forever Faithful Friends

My last post drew quite a bit of attention from many friends who I had not tried to contact from the depths of the depression I was in. As a matter of fact, the day after I wrote the post I was on the phone with loving friends from early in the morning until 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.  This talk therapy alone helped the depression shadow that had plagued me for weeks to start to dispel. My doctor had also tweeked my anti-depressant dose, raising it slightly. That finally kicked in. The love of friends and the art of psychiatry triumphed over a bleak month in my life and helped restore peace. If you read the comments from the last post, you will experience the love that healed me.

So many people with bipolar disorder, or other mental disorders live in loneliness. Their illness isolates them from others, Their silence and shame keeps them from connecting, making friends, developing intimacy, building family. I know my life is a miracle, my family a miracle and my friends a blessing. They told me my first bipolar episode, which was very severe, first mania, then depression was brought on by post-partum — even though my son was nine months old. I didn’t believe them. My denial helped when I was able to go off medicines and have my third child who is now 29 years old. My miracle baby, my Abby.

Again so many people with serious  mental illness can never go off their medications long enough to have a child. It never happened again. When I went manic immediately following Abby’s birth and kept it to myself for two weeks, though I slept not one wink because I was afraid of being separated from her and sent to the hospital…I believed my original doctors. Ah yes, it could have been triggered post-partum! I was never separated from Abby thanks to a new and fantastic psychiatrist I had for 20 years — and my husband who loved, reassured and cared for me.

My dear husband took all the night feedings from that day on as Abby went on the bottle and her momma slept through the night long before the rest of the new family! Support systems mean everything to all of us I’m sure, but especially to those of us with mental illness.

So I thank all of my wonderful friends who called, wrote comments, and otherwise responded to my last post. It reminded me again of the richness in my life and the many blessings that I have. I want to say thank you to a few of them by putting some pictures below:

“A (wo)man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hubby Mike and I, Best Friend

Heather and I

Mary and I

Marla

Joe

@copyright Libby Baker Sweiger

Living Above The Madness

Also published with permission in Regional blog: The Howie Blog

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6 thoughts on “Forever Faithful Friends

  1. Libby I heartily applaud what you are doing here, not going the poor me route but battling the dragon to help others that are under attack of mental illness and totally unnecessary feelings of guilt and shame put on them out of fear. I am hopeful that not only will these posts be read by thousands of sufferers but also by the people that perpetuate the stigma they attach to mental illness.
    Love and understanding are the keys that will unlock their minds, and also free those who have mental illness from the darkness they are held captive by.
    I see the Glory of the Lord guiding you always.

    • Dear Tom,
      Bless you my brother! You really get what I’m doing…which means so much because I know you and many others with hearts like yours are praying for me, even if they haven’t left a comment. Thanks for your wonderful one. Your support has always meant so much to me and your friendship. Those two words go together so well! ❤ you my friend!

  2. Another very special post, Libby! It brought tears to my eyes both of sadness of what you went through and the joy of knowing you fight back and win – most of the time!

    I am honored to be among your gallery of friends her on your site.

    Much Love,
    M>

    • Thank you dear Marla. Your call meant so much to me that day, as they always do! I am so blessed that we are friends! I love you and appreciate all of your prayers and thoughts towards me. You are an encouragement and a love!

      It was a bad run, but I fought back thanks to a real strong streak of I don’t know what, I was very stubborn as a kid and fiesty. I guess I haven’t lost it. God helps me and my family and dear friends like you. Glad to have you in my gallery!

      All my love,
      Lib

  3. I am so happy to see that you are brave enough to share this with us all. Your post is inspirational for all of us who suffer with mental illness. Sometimes you get lost in the depression and loneliness and forget the ones that love you can help to bring you back but we withdraw and misery can come.. What an inspiration you are. May you have more good than bad days and keep on enjoying how special you and your life is.. Much love to you..

    Shauna

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