Stigma Fighters : Gia Sweeney

Stigma Fighters : Gia Sweeney

I have been putting off telling my story because of the stigma that I’m frightened will come along with it. The embarrassment I feel I may cause those close to me. The fear of not getting employment due to a past filled with mental illness. It’s so easy for me to put off what means everything to me. So, in recognition of Suicide Prevention Month I am going to fight the stigma using faith not fear!

My first suicide attempt was in junior year of high school. My high school sweetheart decided it was time to end our relationship and he was moving on to bigger and better. At least this is how I perceived the break up. At the same time of the break up my best friends, whom I had grown up with, decided we were not going to talk… a petty issue possibly, however, the loss of my love and my best girlfriends on top of my lack of happiness since childhood was unbearable to me. I wrote my note, put it under my bed, took my pills and went to sleep. As I woke up that next morning I was unsure of what to do so I told my mom what I had done. This would be the beginning of my growing consciousness in my misery. I had been hospitalized and when I was discharged it was recommended that I see a psychologist. He said something to me that I continue to carry with me today. He said, ” You are not living the life you want”.

As time passed I had at least three other attempts along with diagnoses of cyclotbymia, bipolar, depression, schizoaffective, eating disorder, codependent, addict, alcoholic.
I have had my fair share of hospitalizations, medications, therapy, you name it! The reason I say all this is not to say I’m any different from the next person or I have a grater war story. I say this out of gratitude. I say this because I am fortunate to be alive and be a mother, a daughter, a friend, a woman living with a mental illness, of no longer letting my illness cause me to feel shame, embarrassment, inadequacy. I am sober nine years this October alongside of working on understanding my mental health. I am so excited there is a place to share my experience and know that I am supported and all is going to be ok.
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this and through my struggles and acceptance my hope is to understand and relate to others, being the best Gia I can.
I am fighting the stigma.

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image1Gia is a lover of life, Ayurveda, dance, writing. A mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

Gia can be found on her website

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2 Comments

  1. Mrs. S August 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Keep up the fight! You are not alone. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

    • Gia August 28, 2015 at 12:35 am - Reply

      Thank you, Mrs. S.

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