I just got a text from my mom
“Ash went to the hospital today.”
It’s the 3rd time since April she’s been in.
My sister was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder when she was 13 and at 22 years old it doesn’t get any easier. It’s a disease that she has to live with day in and day out and continuously manage. I am so proud of my sister. At 22 years old (hell since she has been diagnosed), she has always done the RIGHT things. She stayed away from drugs & alcohol because it will only make things worse for her disease. She takes her meds every day without a fuss. She goes to group sessions, individual counseling, etc. She helps other people that also suffer from Mental Illness by sharing her story and experience…and just being a friend to those that a lot of people look at as “crazy”. She knows when her mind is not right and tells my mom and dad, ”Time to go in for an oil change” when she isn’t feeling healthy. *She calls her trips to the hospital “oil changes” because she goes in, gets tuned up, and is ready to be on the road (back in the real world) after a few days, weeks, even over a month at times.
I’m so proud of her. She’s had to make more adult decisions about her health and mental state than I have had to make in 30 years. She is a survivor. She is a warrior. She is determined not to let this disease beat her. And I am so proud of her…but today as I sit at work (moments after getting the text from my mom)…I’m really upset. I’m not sure why this hospital stint is hitting me so hard. I don’t normally get this emotional when it happens because we have been through them so many times and I know her strength. I know she is working with a great Doctor and has an amazing support team. I know she is going to be OK in a matter of days…but right now, I’m angrier than normal.
Maybe it’s because I just watched this incredible video of a woman with schizophrenia on The Frisky yesterday. I was moved by it. And so desperately want it to be Ashley (my sister). Click Here to See The Video
Maybe it’s because today when I was looking up Entertainment News for the show I watched a video about celebrities with Bi-Polar disorder.
Maybe it’s because I just spent a week with my sister earlier this month and saw how much progress she’s made but how much of a struggle it is.
I wake up in the morning and take pills to lose weight, make my hair grow quicker, etc and she’s taking pills to keep her sanity.
It’s just not fair.
And I’m mad.
I’m mad at the disease. I’m mad at the stigma that goes along with Mental Illness.
And I’m sad. I’m really sad for my sister. Really sad that she has to go to the hospital in order to feel safe…from herself and her thoughts.
And I’m really proud. I’m really proud that she recognizes it and does something about it…and feels no shame in doing so. She is a leader.
But I’m really sad.
I don’t want her to have to be a leader. I don’t want her to have to be afraid. I want her to be a 22 year old girl, dancing on a bar somewhere, making out with her boyfriend at a Ke$ha Concert because “Crazy Kids” is LIKE TOTALLY HER FAVORITE SONG. I want her biggest worry to be what outfit to wear or how is she ever going to ever pay off her student loans working part time at Chili’s. I just want her to have the same “weight of the world on her shoulders” that other 22 year olds have…that I had. Not this.
It’s just not fair.
Here’s a pic of my cousin, Mickey, Me and my sister at Disneyland July 28th.