For many months, I have been suffering from suicidal ideations. I was completely honest with my psychiatrist, my family and friends who support me. I told them that it was not something I wanted to act on, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. For more than six months, the idea of suicide was constantly there. I didn’t have one day where I got a break from that horrible idea. Speaking honestly about it with my psychiatrist, family and friends helped me to push through the more difficult times. I have also been having a lot of struggles with memory loss during this same time period. The memory issues were a big problem, but they also had a positive side. It was one of the things that helped me get through each day simply because I couldn’t always remember the difficulties I had the previous days.
At one point, when my suicidal ideations became extremely severe, I had a phone conversation with my aunt. Of course, I don’t remember the actual conversation due to my memory loss, but I was reminded that we talked about getting through these difficult times. In order for me to remember our phone conversation, my aunt summarized our talk and put it on a bracelet. A little while later, I received the bracelet in the mail; she had it made especially for me. It says, “Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, now that is true strength. You are my inspiration!”
I am not a person that wears jewelry often, but I wear this bracelet every single day. This bracelet is a symbol of love, strength and hope for me. There have been many days since I first got the bracelet that I didn’t think I could make it through, but I looked down at my wrist, read the bracelet, and that became a big reason for me to keep moving forward.
My bracelet reminds me not to give up, that things will get better, that my family and friends love me unconditionally and that I will get through this. When I’m in a depression, I tend to only remember the difficult times. I have a hard time recalling anything that’s good. The bracelet reminds me that I have previously been through depressive episodes. It’s a reminder that I’ve fought this fight and won before; if I’ve been able to do it before, then I know I can do it again. It also reminds me that I’m not in this fight alone. My family and friends are there for me all the time; all I have to do is ask for help and they will be by my side. Sometimes, I don’t even need to ask for help, and they are there for me. This bracelet is a reminder of so many things to me. Even though I have to fight this rough fight with bipolar disorder, I am blessed to have the love, support and resources to help me win the fight.
My wish for every individual that deals with mental health is that they also have a symbol of hope to help them get through their difficult times. My symbol of hope has done a lot of wonderful things for me. None of us have to go through this journey alone. Even if we don’t have family or friends, we have each other in this online community. We can get through this together.
Read more from Jodi in her personal blog at https://mysideofthepole.wordpress.com