Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

Thriving With Mental Illness Pt. 3 | WBFO’s Mental Health Initiative

(music) I share my experience with everyone. It’s like the only way you can hurt me if I don’t share. So I’m going to share. Someone’s going to listen whether you want
to or not. I remember at times in the home, I would
seclude myself to one room until everyone left, then I would come out. I thought my family was evil, bad, the scum
of the earth, and that was my thinking. Being afraid to be around people, even
my family, being afraid of me. It was like being a prisoner inside yourself
and you can’t get out. And it just overtook me for about a couple
of years, where family was scared that I was going to do something to myself or do something
to the kids. Suicide’s a part of the equation. It’s part of what happened. My mom took my kids, I slept in my car and
I did it for 30 days. I’m an alumni of the state psychiatric system,
so I’ve been in Buffalo State Hospital. While living in Michigan, it’s Northville
Psychiatric Center. But whenever I would come home, Mom would
play the piano, and it was soothing, it calmed me down, it calmed down my insides. It calmed down the turmoil in my head. And Mom would always say “Leslie, life will
get better. You hold on. Just keep doing the right thing. Life will get better.” Ended up in the hospital was not the way I
really planned it. I planned on becoming successful at something
in any way that I could but it didn’t work that way. Then once that happens, you got to decide,
“What are you going to do? Are you going to just sit here and oh, well,
they’ve told me this and they’ve told me that and I have issues.” But it still comes down to the stuff you want
to do, so I decided I was going to go out and do it anyway. After being hospitalized I think without it
I would’ve not been here. I would’ve still been relapsing. I would’ve not been healthy. Living with mental illness has left me with
a lot of barriers. It’s left me with lots of treatments down
my belt, many different types of therapies I’ve tried, treatments, medications, many
different things. And the road was long, and it was hard, but
it was worth it, so I want people to know that struggling with mental illness doesn’t
have to be a curse. Living with a mental illness has become really
a wonderful thing. It has helped me find me instead of trying
to hide from who I am and deny who I am. There’s only one thing I can do in life, and
that’s simply be me. I’m out of the closet. I have a diagnosis, and I’m happy as I can
be. (music)

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