I struggle with mental health, plain and simple.
I consider myself a passionate, driven, career-oriented, workaholic, who when a career was unexpectedly swept away chose to bury the loss and grief rather than process and seek support.
In time, my childhood strategies, which had served me well, were no longer functional and my body kept score of the trauma, losses and grief.
For seven years, I experienced severe, complex physical trauma that a team of neurologists had a difficult time figuring out. Only, when I was completely incapacitated with daily seizures some lasting between 10-30 minutes in length and up to eight in a single day, did I finally end up in the seizures investigation unit.
Diagnosed with P.T.S.D., F.N.D., O.C.D., and Anxiety, in February 2021, it was time to face exploring my past and learn how it had affected my mental health. I chose to seek support and reflect on baggage and strategies that longer serving me well.
This confident, perfectionist was brought to her knees by unresolved loss and grief. Finally, with the clarity of diagnoses I'd known, it was time. I reached out, called out and prayed asking for help. I finally realized I needed it. I surrendered to my imperfection and am getting comfortable in my own skin.
Now, on the road to recovery, I'm telling & writing my story. A memoir set amidst the pandemic while simultaneously a care-giving for my mother journeying through dementia.
A VERY RARE NORMAL: ADVOCATING FOR ONESELF WHILE ACQUIRING CARE my working title, might sit nicely on the bookstore shelf next to Mark Henick's, So-Called Normal or Megan Devine's, It's Okay that You're Not Okay. Both great memoirs to check out.
Currently, on my bedside table is: Jason:1 Stigma: 0 by Jason Finucan. All three of these are #mentalhealth titles I'd highly recommend depending on your interests and need.
As I write to process my own mental health journey, I write also to support others. Might you be walking in similar footwear like I was: alone, in the workplace or looking in the mirror asking:
"Who's going to speak for the girl in the mirror?
My name is Jocelyn Bystrom and I choose to speak up and advocate for:
#MentalHealth&Wellness. February, 2022