MHAM Submission - Bonnie Bauer
I’ve always suffered from anxiety & depression since I was 12 from a lot of trauma in the home, not having a dad, and bullying at school. At home, I dealt with mental & physical abuse as well as my mother by my step dad. My mom finally left him after I called the cops on him for the abuse. The damage was already done though.
A few years later at school, when I spoke out about a sexual assault that happened to me, no one believed me. I was a liar. The cops refused to do anything because it was one of their fellow officers son who did it. After that, my grandfather, who was basically my dad, died. My mom finally sent me off for help because I was cutting and wanted to commit suicide. I got put on medication, and was doing better.
I eventually dropped out in 10th grade because I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was still a liar. I got really bad on drugs, and my mom became a alcoholic. She lost her job of 21 years. I finally got my head together, got clean after a close call of overdose. I got into GED school, and found a job. I paid my way through school, and graduated. I supported me & my mom for almost 3 years. I was doing so good.
Then in November 2014, I found out I was pregnant. I was working full time while my mom, stayed drunk. I was happy though, I was truly happy for the blessing of carrying a child. The happiest I’ve ever been. A week before I found out the gender, my mother had a horrific DUI accident while I was at work. I honestly thought the person who called me was playing a horrible joke on me.
My whole world came crashing down. The truck was totaled, she flipped multiple times, but she lived. No one else was hurt either. She had to have emergency surgery, and almost lost her arm from the elbow down, but she didn’t. She lived, and has been sober till this day. She was able to sit beside me & my now husband, to find out we were having a little girl.
After I had my Emma Grace in July of 2015, I found out what true love was. At this point I became a stay at home mom. I suffered from “postpartum” but nothing a “little medication can’t fix." My mom found a new job, which she still works for. A few months after Emma’s first birthday, I became really low. I suffered in silence for another year because I didn’t want people to think I “couldn’t handle motherhood” or that I “failed as a mother already."
I finally spoke up in January of 2017, and started seeing a doctor/therapist. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 (rapid cycling, manic depressive), PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, major depressive disorder, & borderline personality disorder. My doctor said that I probably was suffering from all this before but misdiagnosed & that the depression medication for postpartum only “fueled the fire”, which made it all come to light.
All while trying to repair myself, my grandmother died in May of 2017, while I was seeking treatment. That threw me into a deep depression, with mania. I completely disconnected myself with my daughter, my husband, & my mom. I lost it. I started taking tons of sleeping pills at a time, all while taking pain medication that was left over from my dental surgery. I became so very low & high all in one, that I don’t even remember about 3 months of my life. After my addiction problems with sleeping pills and almost losing my life, I finally asked to be sent off for help in August of 2017.
Almost a year later now, and with a lot of trial & error with medication, I’m the most stable I’ve ever been. Not only am I slowly repairing myself but I’ve also repaired my relationships with others, & I’ve repaired the family that I once had. I’m very vocal with everyone I come into contact with and even on social media about mental illness.
I’ve helped many others & have also helped others seek further help. In my small town, people come to me when they need help mentally. They know I won’t judge, & they know I’m a safe place. They know I understand & relate. I’ve helped people that I would’ve NEVER thought had problems mentally. Helping others, and speaking on mental illness so others will speak up, makes me feel accomplished. It’s like this is what I’m made to do. It’s a very long process, and it will continue to be.
Everyday is a new struggle but I’m confident that it will get better. There will be a lot of ups, downs, & bumps in the road, but in the end it is all worth it. Definitely when you have a little girl looking up to you.