Never Giving Up

by Tiffany Rose Bailey

Parenting is a challenge. Who said parenting was easy? I was never given a parenting manual when my first born arrived. I was given books to read or suggestions and advice by my doctor and my parents, but never an actual manual. I was never given a magic wand to help me. I was a single mother for a long time as well, so I had to learn how to do things on my own, too. Double duty was never an easy task, but I managed as best as I could. I made many mistakes as I learned, but I did it the best way I could. 

Mental health is a challenge for me, too. Being diagnosed with any mental health condition is a challenge just in itself. Bipolar, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, and so many more there’s not room to list. Many of these can cause some individuals to not want to leave their homes, to not want to socialize. But as a parent, I also know what kind of life it is to keep a child locked up indoors all day. I want to protect my child from the world and the troubles out there, but I also want them to explore the good things too. 

Putting parenting and mental health together really is a big challenge! I am a parent with Bipolar II and PTSD but have not let those two major mental health diagnoses deter me from being the best mother I could be. Have I made mistakes as a mother? You bet I have. Many, as a matter of fact. 

In 2018, a couple years after losing my mother and almost two months after my car accident, I was in one of the worst states of mind I’ve ever been in my life. I reached an all time low and made a decision that would ultimately change my life forever. I overdosed on medication and put myself in the hospital for three days. I was monitored like a child before I was released to go home to my family. 

I just wanted a break from everything—from all the physical pain I had, all the emotional pain I was dealing with, all the mental pain I was going through at the time. I just wanted it all to stop. The worst pain and confusing time of my whole life and I wanted it just to stop for a moment. I didn’t really want my life to end…just for things to stop. I was in counseling and knew tools and had some tools, but chose to ignore them. 

I think that when mothers or other parents get to that point, we don’t necessarily think straight. It also doesn’t help when you don’t have a supportive partner. I have since gone through extensive counseling and continue to go through my counseling sessions. I have also lost another parent and have learned to deal with that loss healthily. And I have gotten a divorce and am now having to learn to parent differently again on my own and be a much stronger, more independent mother and learn to thrive on my own while I raise my youngest child. And I’m doing all this while I’m figuring out how to face the obstacles that are placed in front of me.

I’ve never given up and I think many parents like me have a hard time not giving up. It’s an internal strength and perseverance that I’ve gained over the years and I feel that some of us parents have it. I also feel that some parents may not have it, unfortunately, and may need some assistance from others like from counselors or family members or friends. They may need more encouragement. 

Sadly, there isn’t always adequate help and support in some cities, towns, and states to help parents like me. Before I was diagnosed at 25 years old, I was frowned upon and at times I still am because of my diagnosis. However, I try not to let it get to me as much anymore as I have raised two children so far and am still raising my third child. I love them and would do just about anything for them to make sure they were taken care of and happy. I’m a prime example of never giving up—of always trying to move forward and up.

Tiffany Rose Bailey headshot
Tiffany Rose Bailey

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