Beautiful Chaos

A journey into the life of a mother and wife with mental illness


My Journey of Motherhood, Mental Illness, & Life

Candace Riggs

Welcome to My Beautiful Chaos 

Motherhood, Mental Illness, and Myself

Where to begin. I've always wanted to start a blog but not just a "mommy blog". I want it to cover my past, present, the stessors, the amazingness, and also the mental health aspect that is so frequently pushed aside with being a mother.

As a mom of three wonderful children, I am not ashamed(anymore)to say I struggled and continue to struggle with mental illnesses. Would it make you turn away to know I suffered such horrid Post-Partum Depression with my middle son that I contemplated suicide? To know I suffer from anxiety so bad that sometimes I am riddled with fear that takes over my body and mind to where I feel paralyzed?

It has taken me years to be open and accepting of myself. Others who don't understand this, say things like "Oh you're fine" or "It's all in your head". when in reality it is not. It is real and we live it everyday. Feeling the helplessness, feeling scared, feeling so alone.

That is why I've started this blog. It is important to bring awarness to this. Wether you are a mother, a father, a son, daughter, or friend mental health affects us all and we can all help put an end to the stigma surrounding it.

Letting go and becoming a SURVIVOR

I had my first sweet son at 19 years old and I was in a highly abusive relationship(in everyway possible)with his father and my uncontrolled mental illness did not help. I was stuck. I was alone. I didn't dare speak of my trauma/abuse for fear of repercussions. My mother and sister, even friends were not as blind as I needed them to be. They saw the brusies, the fear in my eyes, the control he had over me.

I wonder if I had my mental illness under control if I would have been strong enough to leave earlier. Strong enough to walk away sooner when offered the help to run. 

But does dwelling on the past help us heal or hurt us? Personally, I believe it hurts us(I know it hurt me), because it makes us angry, bitter, and a victim when we need to be survivors as that is what we are. Took years of therapy, healing, as well as understanding to finally be able to FORGIVE him and now I am at peace because of it. 

I am in no way saying I am perfect, because trust me, I am flawed and still have so much to work on within myself, but even the smallest win, such as forgiving someone who has wronged us can help us grow in ways we never imagned. 

So today be kind to yourself, love yourself, and know you are and will always be worthy. 

Accepting my diagnosis

At the tender of 15 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I, at the time, had no clue what that meant. All I knew was that I was struggling and I wanted it to end. I tried every single medication in the world it felt like and nothing worked. I either had nasty reactions or they just literally did nothing. 

So how was I supposed to make the pain stop and heal my disorder when I couldn't find the right medication? I'll be honest and this is hard for me to say, I gave up. I self medicated. I turned to things that would make me numb and spacey instead of being here and fighting to find what worked. But for me, after the years of trying why would I want to continue? The horrible reactions. The doctor who overdosed me on medications and sent me into such horrific hallucinations, that the next day I tried to killed myself because I thought I was crazy. I was hurting. I had tried to commit suicide countless times and by the grace of God was unsuccessful each and every time. 

I stayed in this self medicated hell for years and maybe it was because I didn't want to face the truth that I had such a diagnosis that affected my life in ways others couldn't understand. Maybe I was ashamed. Maybe I was scared. This is all the truth, because I didn't want others to think I was my diagnosis or I was a freak or I was whatever "label" they were going to give me. Once I ACCEPTED that I had a disorder, which was only a few years ago, I realized it in no way defined me. After that I was able to bloom and give the love to myself I deserved and still deserve to this day as well as everyday.

I am beautiful, I am awesome, I am great, I am wonderful, I am a loving mother and wife who yes, suffers from mental illness but that does not define me and never will again! I will not allow that to rule my life and take over, because I have the power. I tell myself this every morning in the mirror whether brushing my teeth, doing my makeup or hair because I need to hear it.

 

So to anyone suffering with mental illness, you are not alone. You are wonderful, you are amazing, you are beautiful, you are handsome, you are loved, and you are NOT your diagnosis. YOU ARE YOU and that is one of the greatest feelings and gifts in the world. 

Mind & Power

I wish I was only diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder/Anxiety but that is not the case. 

I suffer also from OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)and my type is that everything must be tidy and clean. How is that even possible with three babies, appointments, errands, animals, etc. Well, it’s not, so because of that my anxiety takes over and sometimes tears flow, as my mind plays tricks telling me if anything is out of order, that I am a bad mom because my home is not spotless for my children. What kind of crap is that? Is there really any mom out there who's home is always spotless? Because if there is, I'd love to meet her and ask her, her secret!

The mind is such a powerful thing that it actually tries to trick me into thinking because a toy is on the floor or a crayon or whatever is randomly out of place that it makes me a bad mom. I literally have to stop what I'm doing whether it's holding my infant daughter(I just hold her a little tighter), or whatever and I have to breathe. Straight up meditate for 5 minutes, basically to tell my mind to screw off. I know there is someone reading this who knows what I am talking about!

I guess the point of this post is to know that yes, your mind is a powerful thing, but YOU are too! You are more powerful than any trick your mind trys to play on you because of mental illness. I take it day by day and sometimes minute by minute. Never underestimate yourself! YOU can move MOUNTAINS!

I am a hot mess today

I am crying. I am feeling depressed. I have my anxiety and pain hitting hard. I am not okay today and that is okay, right?

 

Feeling down doesn't make me any less of a good person. Any less of a good mom. Just means I am having one of those days I am sure a lot of us have. No I'm not doing my makeup today, my hairs in a crazy bun and I have spit up on my shirt. I literally don't care to make myself up today. 

This is me on a ,mental illness is getting the best of me day, but that doesn't mean it is winning. That just means I'm focusing on more important things such as my mind, spirit, and KIDS! Who cares how I look outward. What matters is how I am doing inward. We who suffer from mental illnesses know that if that falls apart(meaning the inward aspect)we are in desperate need of intervention(or at least thats me). So that is why I focus on my inward health on my most needed of mental health days.

 

Please know if you are having a day where you are struggling, that is okay. You are not alone, because I am right there with you along with so many others. Know you will be okay. Keep yourself grounded in your spirit, body, and mind. Also if you feel you need more help then that do not be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or even your local Mental Health Resources Center, as that is what were are all here for. 

Know you are loved for who you are, no matter what!

I thought wrong and I'm glad I did

Yesterday I’m at the pharmacy with my three kids in tow. My boys were rambunctious. Aiden touching and asking for everything, Jakes hollering for Aiden with his squeals of excitement. And believe me when I say Ellie wasn’t innocent as she was squealing right back, her little raptor noises.

I was doing my best to keep them all wrangled in, as all us moms do and know how this goes, but once I got one under control the next was loosing it. I got so anxious I wanted to cry but I kept saying to my kids(and probably for myself too), “You guys are doing so great we’re almost done” or “I know this is hard and thank you for being awesome”. Well, this woman walked up to me and I thought here we go with the mom shaming. But this would be a different experience today, one for the books. She said “You are such a wonderful and patient mommy. Such a beautiful family. You’re doing amazing. I commend you.”

I was caught of guard by this. I literally had no words for what felt like 10 minutes(it really was only a few seconds). What I thought would be rude moment, with scolding comments was a moment of amazing, positive, uplifting, mom love!

Today, I challenge everyone to, if you see a mom struggling with her kids, know she is doing her damn best, let her know because trust me that’s exactly what she needs to hear. I was feeling down and like a bad mom and her comments brought me happiness and understanding.

So to the woman at Kiaser Campbell Pharmacy yesterday, thank you a million times for your kindness. It was deeply appreciated and so needed.

Me and my babies

By the Grace of God

This Mother’s Day is VERY important to me as, I almost missed it. To be able to have this day with my three beautiful children and handsome husband is such a blessing.

After giving birth to my daughter, I became very sick. I was diagnosed incorrectly with Postpartum Pre-Eclampsia when in actuality I had left over placenta in my uterus causing infection and ultimately resulting in my developing sepsis. I spent more time in and out of doctors offices and hospitals for the first three weeks of my daughters life then with her.

No one took me seriously. My blood pressure was crazy, my heartbeat was erratic, I was in such pain nothing could touch my abdomen and yet there were doctors who didn’t believe my symptoms even though it was shown on the monitors. I had even been told I was faking it by an ER doctor at a Kiaser Emergency Room.

I ended up in the ER again with a high fever, sweating, chills, pain, vomiting and much more. The pain was so unbearable that to do an internal ultrasound they had to dose me on pain medication and they pushed it fast, I was in a daze. I was admitted for pooling of blood in my uterus and left over placenta with sepsis. I had an emergency D&C after the findings because of the severity and then spent an additional 72 hours in the hospital while they gave me tons of antibiotics and monitored me.

I’m blessed to be here. By the grace of God I’m celebrating Mother’s Day. I am so very thankful and dedicating my children to the Lord tomorrow during church service. Always love your mother as you don’t know what the day brings. Always be thankful and know that God always has your back. Prayers are heard and I am living proof of that. I thank the Lord everyday that I am here still and able to watch my children grow.

If you need prayer feel free to let me know and I will pray for you/with you. God bless everyone and Happy Mothers Day!