“Journaling Your Way to Self Reclamtion” – A Guest post by Amy Maglitto

I’ve been speaking with a woman through private messaging on my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/APartiallyBrokenMind/) for a little while now, her name is Amy Maglitto. From what she has told me she has had a very traumatic past and also lived with multiple mental health disorders as well several physical disorders, undiagnosed for most of her life.

She is highly intelligent, and I’ve enjoyed our conversations. I personally have no experience or understanding of some of the things that she has went through or her mental issues; But it has been informative to talk to her and listen to what she has to say.

After some time I had asked her if she would like to write down or journal some of her thoughts and if she would be interested in guest posting on my website. We talked about it for a while and eventually she sent me this:

“After communicating about a panic attack I had experienced earlier in the day with A Half Broken Mind’s support group, I realized not one single time have I ever asked myself “why?”. Why am I struggling daily with these debilitating side effects? I had an epiphany and I made the decision to ask myself “why?”, to really understand who I am.

Not until the age of 30 was I diagnosed with Bipolar I, anxiety, PTSD, Crohn’s Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Most of my entire life I was struggling daily with mental illness and extremely high levels of pain, but never understood why.

Growing up, I went to 5 different schools, in 3 different states. As a teenager, I recognized the details I lived and my reactions to life were way different from others. My reactions were extreme. I started using drugs at 14 years old. At 16 years old, I held 2 jobs while attending high school full time.

I raced four wheelers and motorcycles. Sometimes my energy level was off the charts; Sometimes I’d be so depressed, I wouldn’t speak. I lived in a constant feeling of “I can’t do anything right” and “I’m not good enough”. Mostly because of my reactions but sometimes there was no reason to feel that way at all, I just did.

I struggled daily being Bipolar but was completely unaware of it.

At 17 years old, I had my first extreme traumatic experience of finding a dead body. Followed by a very abusive 4 year marriage. As a 21 year old divorced, single mom, I threw myself into my career. Followed by a second, 8 year abusive marriage and divorce. At this point, I felt my daughter was the only thing keeping me alive.

I had attempted suicide multiple times. I had been in rehab multiple times and was hospitalized continuously. I finally reached the point of no longer being able to work, due to Crohn’s Disease, and was put on disability. I lost my identity no longer being able to work.

The pain associated with Crohn’s Disease, alone, was so great that I survived by literally focusing on every breath. Nothing I ingested would stay in my body and I was going to the bathroom about every 3 to 5 minutes.

While in the hospital, the nutrition i.v. bags were sometimes my only source of nutrition.
42 pounds is the most weight I had ever lost in one month. I completely quit speaking at this point. I received extensive counseling and therapy, but I was unable to function; Multiple hospital stays, doctor appointments, and extensive therapy ensued.

Later, my Mother committed suicide, 2 days before my parents 35th wedding anniversary. Gun shot wound to the chest. It was in a public place, so it was chaos. I don’t remember very clearly after that, except trying to raise my daughter the best I could, all the while with continuous hospital stays, doctor appointments, and repeated abusive relationships. I managed to always keep my own home, which created a way to completely isolate myself.

I used drugs and alcohol as a way to function through any type of interaction and pain. Living with chronic illnesses affected my entire life. This year will be 9 years since I lost my Mother and was diagnosed. It has taken a lot of therapy to bring me to the present.

I have recently accepted my path to healing my mind and body, from the debilitating side effects resulting from extreme trauma and abuse. My recent epiphany to understand myself, has changed my entire perception of caring for myself. I have very little, to no memory from childhood to present but now I am able to see that I do have a voice. I’m allowed to and capable of using my voice to make my life better; starting now. Recovery is a very long, hard road but I continue to heal and grow.

I am extremely grateful to realize I can use my voice and I look forward to my future.”

– Amy Maglitto

For me, reading this was difficult and it made my own personal struggles seem dwarfed compared to what she has had to deal with. It’s truly a painful story, but from what she has told me, writing this down and expressing it to others has helped her tremendously. It has given her a chance to use her voice and her thoughts that she has kept hidden for so many years to begin the process of healing her past wounds. I personally look forward to seeing more of what she has to say.

This is a saddening, yet inspirational story. I hope that her words can help somebody else out there  struggling as well. As I’ve said time and time again, grab a pen and piece of paper and write it down. Write down your feelings even if you don’t intend to show it to anyone. Just expressing it in some form can help to lift the mental strain caused by holding in whatever pain you are dealing with.

I’d like to thank you Amy for being so open and honest about your life and I hope you continue to write and talk in our sub group of my Facebook page. I care about you and your mental wellbeing, and you already know you can message me whenever you’d like.

My love and best wishes to you all, always.

A Half Broken Mind

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