By: Jennifer Cowsert, MSoS Public Relations Coordinator and Author of “Psychic Surrender”
My story starts when I was in high school. I’d come home to a dark, quiet house and go straight to my room. When dad came home from work, he’d go into his room, where mom had been holed up all day. It was a good thing, her being in there. It meant she wasn’t yelling at me, in a rage, calling me horrible names, hitting me. Mom had been getting worse over the years, her bouts of rage more frequent.
That was my high school years, come home, go to my room, be alone. I hated it. I hated me. I thought I was bad. I was also starving myslef, cutting myself, writing dark poetry about dying.
After I graduated, I left home, moved in with a not so good person, hung out with not so great people. I drank, a lot. Did drugs, a lot of them. Then, wouldn’t you know it, I got involved with an abuser. He was my whole life. All the fighting, all the drugs, all the hitting, it was my normal. Then I got pregnant. When my baby was born, things got worse. He cheated, of course. When my baby was 7 months old, I got brave and I left, for good.
I survived, barely for the next two years. I made good choices, but kept fantasizing about dying. The problem was I had a kid now. I couldn’t leave her alone. I met a great man, a Marine. He loved me and my daughter. We were great. I married him four months later. A month after that is when I started beating on him, screaming, breaking things, completely out of control. I knew when I was doing it, that is was wrong, but it was a rage I couldn’t stop. I got help. Finally. I found someone I trusted and told her everything.
Here I am 20 years later, still married, two more kids and now a grand daughter. I am now proud to say that I am bi-polar. Why proud? Because it’s a part of me, it’s who I am, what makes me tick. Proud because I took the steps needed to get help and maintain it. My mom was bi-polar. She’d fly into those familiar rages, she’d scream for hours, she attempted suicide at least four times. She was institutionalized twice. She always said she was ‘fine’and ‘doctors don’t know what they are talking about.’ She was a mess. She ended up pushing me away, never getting to know her grandchildren.
I’m proud because I got help. I didn’t follow my mothers’ foot steps. I made better decisions for my children. I still have moments. I fall into depression, have dark thoughts. When that happens, I know to call my therapist and talk it out, maybe change some medications. I’m NOT ashamed of my diagnosis. Shame is knowing you have a disease, not getting help and putting your family through years of pain and frustration.
I am so, so proud to be a part of MsoS now. I hope I can help people get out of the pit of darkness and reach for the light. I know that in heaven, my mom is also proud that I stopped the cycle.