Sorry to be an absentee landlord of late. I graduated nursing school last May and my family moved from one state to another and I started one job, quit when I got one working as a psych nurse in a state mental hospital and got in a car accident in January that has had me out on medical leave since then, so I've been so busy, busy, busy and hurt, but alive.
I just posted the following in my journal and thought perhaps some of us could stand to benefit from it. It's a very brief story of how I managed to make it through nursing school while battling major depressive disorder with psychotic breaks. I don't post it to brag, but to prove that there is hope out there and that our dreams need not be put aside simply because we suffer chemical imbalances.
I'm email@example.com on AIM (yes, that IS my SN) if any of you need/want to chat!
I wrote this in a comment (edited to make more sense as a stand-alone post) in a dear young woman's journal and felt I'd also put it here as it touches on something I've been thinking about of late.
I was just sitting around last night thinking, "Hey, I'm a registered nurse. I did it!"
I had mono my first year and was hospitalized three times throughout my schooling for major depressive disorder and PTSD and yes, had two suicide attempts because I idiotically missed doses of my medications: the first time because I was so tired from the mono, I think that I simply didn't remember whether or not I had taken my meds, so I'd opt not to take them, the second time because I thought I could get by without meds, I think....hmm...or maybe I just missed some doses. I actually don't remember.
I'm not proud I tried to "snuff it" twice, but I am proud at what I overcame, that I managed to graduate from a very, very competitive, tough program and with HONORS, WHILE raising three kids, keeping a house in at least living condition (yeah, it was a mess, but livable!) and keeping a marriage in living condition (yeah, sometimes things were a mess, but livable :-) All that and I missed 2 days of class. I'd go from the hospital on pass over to class the second time I was hospitalized because the first time happened to fall over our Spring break so I didn't miss any classes that time. When I had mono I never missed a single class. I got up, took the kids where they needed to go, went to class, went home, tried to read a bit, fell asleep, got up the next day and did it all over and still got an A on every test, paper and in clinicals that semester.
I'm by no means proud that I have a chemical imbalance that so controlled my mind that I thought everyone around me would be better off were I gone, but I'm not ashamed of it either. As Kurt Vonnegut says, "It is what it is." But I AM damn proud of what I accomplished. As I said back then, getting that diploma was as important to me and as emotional for me as an Olympian getting a gold medal: that's how much I worked for it, how many obstacles I had to feel my way around in some of the darkest hours of my life.
But I do stop and think sometimes with a smile on my face, "Well, holy shit, I'm a nurse!" (A lifelong dream of mine.) And it feels SO damn good.