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Stigma Fighters : Alena Harrington

My mother. My beautiful, sweet mother took her last breath on July 31, 2013. My mother, who had loved me more than anything in this world, absolutely unconditionally. She managed to love me when I wasn’t always loveable-thru my surly and difficult teenage years. Thru my highs and lows. She was there for me throughout it all. Loving me.

My name is Alena. I have bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

After my mother passed I lost my will to live even though I have two beautiful daughters and two amazing grandchildren. I just wanted the pain to stop, I wanted the profound loss to stop.

So I had a plan-I was going to do it. I was going to die and join my beloved mother. I felt such a sense of peace, of relief. Tho as the day approached I felt less and less motivated to take that final awful step. I heard my mom’s voice telling me to FIGHT! I heard my mother telling me that I am no quitter.

Although I was suffering from deep and profound depression, in a moment of courage I reached out to my psychiatrist who I’ve had a long-term and good relationship with. The doctor said that a med change was definitely in order. I held on and slowly over time I came out of the darkness. I wanted to live more and die less.

My therapist, Linda who I’ve been with for years was a lifesaver, literally. She was there thru every dark thought and manic moment. With her support and guidance I have blossomed. I have come so far and accomplished so much. With Linda’s help I am not only living, I am thriving.

Things aren’t perfect and I struggle daily. With dogged determination, I now volunteer a few days a week at the hospital working with the elderly. It makes me feel worthy and I get back way more than I give.

I hear my mom’s voice, with great pride she says, “You, my daughter ARE a survivor…

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1112141111aMy name is Alena and I am from the frozen tundra of Maine where I reside with my two fur babies. I have two beautiful daughters who sadly weren’t always shielded from my mental illness. My profound apologies to them. My grandchildren give me life and fill my heart with love.

I AM a mental health warrior 🙂