Not my first time at this rodeo

Guest Author: Patti

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

September 2018: Crying and in total despair, I struggled to walk to our local hospital with my 20-year-old daughter (who was on the phone with the OPP) fearing I would take my life.

I blame the antidepressants I was on at that time, however there were a lot of unforeseen circumstances that seemed to have happened all at once. Isn’t that always the way? I had had it and kept thinking to myself, does this sh*t just happen to me?

Not my first time at this rodeo.

Depression and anxiety had wrapped its ugly tentacles around me yet again. Feeling lost and hopeless about my future (despite having three beautiful daughters) I was in the pit of gloom once again.  Not my first time at this rodeo.

After spending three days in a psych ward in the hospital (I think that made me feel worse), it was recommended that I enter a program at Homewood Health Centre to learn how to deal with mental illness and provide me with coping tools (inpatient for six weeks).  My meds were adjusted once again (30+ years of finding the right fit for me). Post-discharge I wait for my appointment with a new counsellor. Hasn’t happened yet…March appointment it is…Isn’t that nuts? Pardon the pun.

Who am I?  A single mom in my late 50s.  A victim of childhood sexual abuse and trauma who is horrible coping with stress, finances, suffered years of verbal and emotional abuse and have changed jobs (good ones, at that) on a regular basis.  Currently I live in a small community where we have experienced far too many suicides to mention and yet here I was contemplating that very thing.

 I cannot change my past.

My big lesson:  I cannot change my past.   I am a person who lives with mental illness.  I can try my hardest to work on surviving today and work on the future.  Thank you to my eldest daughter who sought medical help for me right away, my family doctor who listened to me and still does, with tissues at hand and leads me in the right direction for help…without judgement.

Is everything good right now?  Currently I am coping and feeling good on my current medications and have been thrown many more obstacles in the recent months, BUT, I have my girls to live for and I have me to live for too!  

Persistence, patience, good medications, the will to move forward and a good support system of friends are all helping me with this process.

I am not silent about my illness with depression and anxiety nor my recent diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.  I believe, for the first time in a long time, that I will be better but will never “get over it.”

 It’s time to stop the silence.

We CAN make a difference if we stop the stigma associated with mental illness.  It’s time to stop the silence.


Patti aka Hopeful and currently Optimistic



Thank you for sharing your story Patti. It sounds like my own in many ways. I too was recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I too had anxiety and depression. I too was suicidal. I too am accepting that I’ll never “get over” my past and my traumas, but I can learn to manage and live with my disorder and maybe even be happy again someday.

I’m 42, and unfortunately don’t have my daughter in my life. She cut off contact almost 8 years ago. But thankfully I’ve had some great friends and some good supports in the medical community here in Toronto to help stabilize me after a very long tailspin.

It really does take a village to recover ourselves from the depths of despair. I wish you strength and companionship in your journey.


Extremely well written, Patti and very brave of you to face this head on. I hope and pray for your continued health and strength as you navigate through the uncharted waters.

I cannot attest nor understand the depth of what you are going through but always know I’m here for you whenever you need me.

It has been my philosophy in life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Love you my friend!

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