I Am Not Ashamed


I am not ashamed that I live with bipolar disorder, a mental illness, a brain disorder. I am not ashamed that I take psychotropic medication. I am not ashamed that my parents are struggling as they age, as their brains and bodies fail them. There is no shame in that. There is no need to hide. No need to keep it a secret.

As I love and respect myself, I love and respect my parents. I assume that my love comes through my writing. I know that others identify with their struggles and with my struggles. I know that it helps to have others for support, to know that you are not alone. There are support groups. Reach out. Get help. Do not try to do it all alone. It’s too much to do alone. 

Alzheimer’s Association 

Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.

National Institute on Aging

NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer’s disease research.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

I am Ashamed

Dusty Lamp

I’m ashamed. Ashamed of the dust. Ashamed of the clutter. Ashamed that I do not, that somehow I cannot, bring myself to keep my house clean.

This afternoon, as I sat working at our dining room table, my husband just touched the dusty lamp above me, and I started coughing, choking, asthmatic that I am.

My son suffers with eczema, with asthma, as do I. Still I leave the dust undisturbed, afraid of another asthma attack.

Too ashamed to ask for help. Too ashamed to hire help. Too ashamed to let anyone in. Too overwhelmed to attack the job myself.

Now my husband Nick chokes and coughs himself, as he cleans the lamp of its dust. Thank you, Nick, for all that you do.