Alia Joy didn't know she had Bipolar Disorder until she was an adult. Married, living life as a homeschooling mom, she'd always thought her manic phase was who she was and she got down sometimes with depression. In this final episode of our Mental Health Series, Alia shares what it's like to live with mental illness. If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be in depression, to have suicidal ideation, or to try to manage regular responsibilities and relationships while living with mental illness, this conversation offers an enlightening perspective.
Alia describes sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot scratching the label off of her first prescription of anti-depressants from shame of the original depression diagnosis. Contrast that to now years later, writing and speaking openly about life with mental illness. Her honesty paired with her ability to articulate her experiences is a priceless combination for those of us wanting to know we are not alone or who want to better understand the experiences of someone we love.
In true Open Door Sisterhood fashion, this episode (and entire series) is part practical and part inspirational. We don't want mental health to have a stigma that keeps us from talking about it. It's too important not to dive in, learn, and discuss this life-impacting issue. As Alia says, God is with us whether we feel it or not in this dark place. We don't need to be afraid.