Mom often reminds me of ‘how far I’ve come’ from my rock bottom, my mental breakdown in 2013. Back then, I recessed into some other universe than the one Everyone else actually lived in, and was there for an impressive amount of time.
Nasty ass dirt compiled under my uncut nails as I was climbing my way out of my insanity, with my mom coaching up top and my family and friends cheering from the surface.
The first day I got out of inpatient on my 24th birthday, I remember a very exhausted mother making the two of us scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese melted on top and sliced tomatoes grown in the garden, and mind you, my mentality was still very fragile. We took our plates out to a very sunny secret garden in the back yard and sat down at the patio table with the pond babbling it’s fountain to the koi fish below.
I tried taking a bite of scrambled egg, but I was so shaken up, The egg wouldn’t stay on my fork. Again, I scooped, but the damn protein went flying down my shirt and into Natalie’s hungry salivating mouth on my side. I got embarrassingly angry, and shot daggers at my mother sitting at the table across from me, an action driven by the illness. She calmly continued to look down at her plate chewing, the stoic sage she was. “Would you like a spoon?”
God bless my mother. I remember thinking back then when I was lashing out at her in pure mental illness in excess, she was never going to love me when we both get older because I was such a burden to bare. I knew for a fact that this whole lashing out thing was temporary-I just knew I’d acclimate and things would go back to normal, because I don’t have the personality of a bipolar bitch. I am just bipolar.
And, back then, was freshly released back into society after being stowed away in the loony bin for a month.
“But look how far you’ve come” mom rang in my ear the other day on the phone. We went back and forth in counting my blessings, accomplishments, and over-comings since those extremely dark times. Moving out. Working. Finding Ricky. Taking care of my animal children. Sharpening my painting and drawing skills. Taking care of business. Making doctor appointments. Being financially responsible… for the most part.
I am overall very happy nowadays- I have my own little family and my best man a girl could ask for. However, I still struggle with my bipolar mania and depression from time to time.
You might be asking yourself “why is Steph being so open about this? Why should I care?”
Because FUCK A STIGMA. Mental illness affects a lot more people than you’d think and those more people are scared to tell their own stories out of fear of being judged. But I’m not- my name is Stephanie Staup and I was so ill I couldn’t eat scrambled eggs at age 24. If you’re not afraid of being judged, comment a hardship you’ve overcome in your life and how you did it. I’d like some encouraging inspiration after spilling my guts.
And I never listen to Drake, but the song ‘Started from the bottom now we’re here’ has been on repeat while I’ve been writing this. Might sound a little clichè but fuck it.