Lindsay Gilbert

@lgilbert1130 | contributor
I am a wife, mom to three adjunct professor at our local university. I am diagnosed with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome and Bilateral Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I love teaching, research, and making epic memories with my family. Life is choices and I choose to live.
Community Voices
Community Voices

How do other people manage to support a loved one through their depression?

<p>How do other people manage to support a loved one through their depression?</p>
14 people are talking about this
Community Voices
Tana

That's how I feel. TIRED !!!

<p>That's how I feel. TIRED !!!</p>
58 people are talking about this
Lindsay Gilbert

What's Behind My Resting 'I’m OK' Face in Life With Chronic Illness

We’ve all heard of resting b*tch face. According to the dictionary, RBF is defined as “an unkind, annoyed, or serious expression that someone has on their face when relaxed, without intending to.” I have decided I have resting “I’m OK” face. It’s similar in that it’s unintended, but appears as bright eyes, a smile, and kindliness. The truth is that this face has become a disguise for me. My disguise to hide the pain and struggles of living with two chronic, incurable illnesses and my mental health illnesses. Resting b*tch face has a negative connotation, but resting I’m OK face may have a more positive association. Everyone wants us to be happy, find the positive, and look for the good. I learned this from a young age. Girls are prettier when they smile. Put on your game face. No one needs to know that shame you feel. Turn that frown upside down. It’s become more profound with social media and the “good vibes only” mentality. Social media is filled with pictures of happy, perfect, put-together, and smiling individuals. We all know many pictures are staged. Mine are. I take 45 hoping just one turns out and then edit it for the best lighting and colors. I find the one where all three children are looking. I change positions to hide the clutter in the background. It’s all part of the game of appearing you have it all together and life is perfect. But we all know no life is perfect. In fact, my life has been a spiral of pain, suffering, and darkness. So what happens when you are living in darkness and can’t see any light but maintain the resting I’m OK face? You are searching for any positivity, but it isn’t there. Then, I believe this disguise of the resting I’m OK face can be dangerous. Following a mental breakdown and eight-day hospital stay, I have been struggling to even find the bottom of the hole I am living in, so there is absolutely no way to find any glimpse of light. However, I find myself going out into public, ever so slowly, one foot in front of the other, with an I’m OK face on. It’s misguided as people who probably mean well say “you look so healthy and happy,” “you’ve made a great recovery,” and “it must be so great to have that all behind you.” The reality is, I’m still in it. I don’t know how to get out, and I’m also having to unlearn the facial expressions that have been deceiving me my whole life. Or maybe others can begin to understand that even though someone is smiling, they may not be OK. Maybe we could take an extra second and look someone in the eyes and ask, “Truly, how are you doing?” Maybe we could all take a look at our resting faces and decide to remove the disguise to let others see us as we truly are. I know seeing someone in pain all the time does not meet the social guidelines of trying to find the positive in everything, but it also can be toxic for those who are truly struggling. Let’s all work on our resting “It’s OK that I’m not OK” face.

Community Voices

I Wish Love Was Enough

On days like today, I wish love was enough. I wish the beautiful faces of my smart, kind children were enough to somehow alter my serotonin and adjust my perspective of relief. I wish my career filled with helping others out of their own despair and educating others on suicide prevention was enough to change my thinking. I wish my loving and supportive friends checking in on me was enough to somehow rewire my brain and heal my nervous system. I wish my husband’s unwavering support and love could snap me out of these trances. Every day, I wish love was enough. I must assure you, that sometimes, it is not.

Most people in my life know I have struggled with suicidal ideation majority of my life, yet few understand how suicidal thinking is now a part of me that lives on its very own street in my brain. It’s a quiet, dark house that no one really takes notice of until the lights randomly burn for days on end and drag me in like a siren. The lights of this house outshine all the other homes in my brain. It mutes my family, my friends, my job, my logical thinking. The house is not loud, it’s simply blinding. So blinding, that it’s all I can see. A blinding piece of me that hides under the guise of a warm, comforting, home. It emanates a sense of peace, calm, and forgiveness yet the other homes know of its misleading message. They know this is an all-consuming trick. The other homes inside me scream as I enter this shining house. But I rarely hear them. I am so blinded by this house; I somehow cannot hear or feel. The other homes know this house is not peaceful and forgiving. In reality, it contains chaos, pain, despair, #Trauma , and generations of grief.

This house can consume me for hours, days, weeks or months. When walking toward this glowing house, I wish love was enough. I wish my eight-year-old’s laugh could transport me back to joy. I wish my six-year-old’s curiosity could outshine its glow. I wish the hugs from my two-year-old’s body could lead me in a different direction. I wish his soft, chubby fingers squeezing my palm could wrap caution tape around this house’s perimeter. Ultimately, I wish this house was gone. Yet bright and sturdy it remains. I have resolved that it is a part of me. All of the therapy, medication, self-care, coping skills, boundaries, and existential work has changed its shape, color, and size; yet it still remains. Somehow forever bonded within my brain circuit cul-de-sac.

Yet do not fear. There are many times this house is dark. It’s quiet, small… almost invisible. My children’s beautiful faces, contagious laughter, curious questions, and chubby fingers outshine this house and I forget how it has almost killed me. My unwavering support, fulfilling career, and regimen of wellness often grows peonies and lilies around this house, and it disappears from my vision. Love is so important. It can be potent. It can save lives. It’s saved mine many times. Yet sometimes, on days like today, I wish love was enough. Because sometimes – despite the immense amount of love, support, and education a person might have, love cannot always fix a biological shift. Love cannot always surpass the consuming siren house in my head. I really wish love was enough. Until then, I am still holding on to hope.

10 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I spent eight days trying to seek psychiatric help

Part 1 of 2 Today I feel raw. Today all feels heavy. Today I cannot see light. These are the days between the good ones found in living with rare chronic disorders and the #MentalHealth associated with such diagnoses.

When I was 35, my life was literally flipped on its side as I was thrown out to sea with no sign of rescue. I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #MalDeDebarquementSyndrome . When I was 39, I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #ThoracicOutletSyndrome .

When talking about my disorders, I often talk about my symptoms: feeling as if I’m constantly in motion, nausea, brain fog, migraines, chronic pain, change of gait, and numbness and tingling down my arms into my hands. But I rarely talk about the #MentalHealth aspect of living with two chronic incurable diseases.

I was diagnosed with #Anxiety and #Depression when I was 19 years old. It’s no surprise that my #Anxiety and #Depression have increased as my diagnoses rolled in. It’s no surprise that I mourn the person I once was before my diagnoses. It’s no surprise that some days my chronic pain and chronic #MentalHealth are too much to carry.

This all came to a head three weeks ago when the world became too dark. When the weight of my disorders became too much to bear. I could no longer see my worth on this earth. I imagined the life my children would lead without me as a burden dragging them away from their lives. I imagined the relief my husband would feel not having to deal with me. I saw myself as a burden, I felt the pain of my illnesses and the truth of what it must be like to live with someone who always “doesn’t feel well.” I imagined my family would be better off without me. And I held a kitchen knife in my hands contemplating ending my life.

After several minutes standing there, holding the knife in my hand, touching the blade to the blue vein in my wrist, I dropped it in the sink and ran upstairs. I fell to my knees before my husband and said “I need help.”

I was admitted to an emergency room and stripped of my belongings and my self worth. I was required to wear a prison-like uniform that was green rather than orange but still maintained the identifier that this person was a risk to themselves or others.

I was in the emergency room, so I witnessed #COVID19 patients being transferred to ICU. I witnessed a gun shot victim being escorted by police to the room next to ours. I witnessed a male so drunk, his hospital gown was on backwards exposing himself to the world. Food was brought to me at the end of my bed. Occasionally, a nurse would stop in to give me medication. I forgot things. I forgot who I was at times. I forgot where I was. I was medicated and confused. But I was not treated; I was monitored for three days.

I hadn’t slept in three days. I hadn’t showered without someone watching me for three days. I had been alone with my thoughts. I had a young man babysitting me all hours and yet there were no hospital beds available to move me from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward.

On that third day, I called my husband. I begged him to come get me and help me find a #MentalHealth retreat. Where I could work on myself, have counseling sessions, talk to others, and not feel like a prisoner.

My husband saved my life that day. He picked me up, brought me home long enough to shower in my own shower, then dropped me at a new behavioral unit with open beds across town. I checked myself in. I told my story, and the social worker said I would be ok. The heaviness would not always feel this heavy and the darkness would not always feel these dark.

I spent five days in the behavioral unit. We played cards, did yoga, played chess, shot hoops, ate a lot, slept a little, played backgammon, colored pictures saying “you are awesome,” rode stationary bikes and spent about 12 total minutes with a psychiatrist and social worker in those five days.

This is #MentalHealth . This is the state of #MentalHealth in our country. You either remain a prisoner at the local emergency room or you retreat to a behavioral unit where the techs are more worried about the number of plastic spoons that were handed out during meals than they are that a patient cannot see her way out. I would beg to see the light of day and one kind tech would open a door to the courtyard and let the sun shine down on me in -5 degree weath

17 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I spent eight days trying to seek psychiatric help

Part 1 of 2 Today I feel raw. Today all feels heavy. Today I cannot see light. These are the days between the good ones found in living with rare chronic disorders and the #MentalHealth associated with such diagnoses.

When I was 35, my life was literally flipped on its side as I was thrown out to sea with no sign of rescue. I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #MalDeDebarquementSyndrome . When I was 39, I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #ThoracicOutletSyndrome .

When talking about my disorders, I often talk about my symptoms: feeling as if I’m constantly in motion, nausea, brain fog, migraines, chronic pain, change of gait, and numbness and tingling down my arms into my hands. But I rarely talk about the #MentalHealth aspect of living with two chronic incurable diseases.

I was diagnosed with #Anxiety and #Depression when I was 19 years old. It’s no surprise that my #Anxiety and #Depression have increased as my diagnoses rolled in. It’s no surprise that I mourn the person I once was before my diagnoses. It’s no surprise that some days my chronic pain and chronic #MentalHealth are too much to carry.

This all came to a head three weeks ago when the world became too dark. When the weight of my disorders became too much to bear. I could no longer see my worth on this earth. I imagined the life my children would lead without me as a burden dragging them away from their lives. I imagined the relief my husband would feel not having to deal with me. I saw myself as a burden, I felt the pain of my illnesses and the truth of what it must be like to live with someone who always “doesn’t feel well.” I imagined my family would be better off without me. And I held a kitchen knife in my hands contemplating ending my life.

After several minutes standing there, holding the knife in my hand, touching the blade to the blue vein in my wrist, I dropped it in the sink and ran upstairs. I fell to my knees before my husband and said “I need help.”

I was admitted to an emergency room and stripped of my belongings and my self worth. I was required to wear a prison-like uniform that was green rather than orange but still maintained the identifier that this person was a risk to themselves or others.

I was in the emergency room, so I witnessed #COVID19 patients being transferred to ICU. I witnessed a gun shot victim being escorted by police to the room next to ours. I witnessed a male so drunk, his hospital gown was on backwards exposing himself to the world. Food was brought to me at the end of my bed. Occasionally, a nurse would stop in to give me medication. I forgot things. I forgot who I was at times. I forgot where I was. I was medicated and confused. But I was not treated; I was monitored for three days.

I hadn’t slept in three days. I hadn’t showered without someone watching me for three days. I had been alone with my thoughts. I had a young man babysitting me all hours and yet there were no hospital beds available to move me from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward.

On that third day, I called my husband. I begged him to come get me and help me find a #MentalHealth retreat. Where I could work on myself, have counseling sessions, talk to others, and not feel like a prisoner.

My husband saved my life that day. He picked me up, brought me home long enough to shower in my own shower, then dropped me at a new behavioral unit with open beds across town. I checked myself in. I told my story, and the social worker said I would be ok. The heaviness would not always feel this heavy and the darkness would not always feel these dark.

I spent five days in the behavioral unit. We played cards, did yoga, played chess, shot hoops, ate a lot, slept a little, played backgammon, colored pictures saying “you are awesome,” rode stationary bikes and spent about 12 total minutes with a psychiatrist and social worker in those five days.

This is #MentalHealth . This is the state of #MentalHealth in our country. You either remain a prisoner at the local emergency room or you retreat to a behavioral unit where the techs are more worried about the number of plastic spoons that were handed out during meals than they are that a patient cannot see her way out. I would beg to see the light of day and one kind tech would open a door to the courtyard and let the sun shine down on me in -5 degree weath

17 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I spent eight days trying to seek psychiatric help

Part 1 of 2 Today I feel raw. Today all feels heavy. Today I cannot see light. These are the days between the good ones found in living with rare chronic disorders and the #MentalHealth associated with such diagnoses.

When I was 35, my life was literally flipped on its side as I was thrown out to sea with no sign of rescue. I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #MalDeDebarquementSyndrome . When I was 39, I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #ThoracicOutletSyndrome .

When talking about my disorders, I often talk about my symptoms: feeling as if I’m constantly in motion, nausea, brain fog, migraines, chronic pain, change of gait, and numbness and tingling down my arms into my hands. But I rarely talk about the #MentalHealth aspect of living with two chronic incurable diseases.

I was diagnosed with #Anxiety and #Depression when I was 19 years old. It’s no surprise that my #Anxiety and #Depression have increased as my diagnoses rolled in. It’s no surprise that I mourn the person I once was before my diagnoses. It’s no surprise that some days my chronic pain and chronic #MentalHealth are too much to carry.

This all came to a head three weeks ago when the world became too dark. When the weight of my disorders became too much to bear. I could no longer see my worth on this earth. I imagined the life my children would lead without me as a burden dragging them away from their lives. I imagined the relief my husband would feel not having to deal with me. I saw myself as a burden, I felt the pain of my illnesses and the truth of what it must be like to live with someone who always “doesn’t feel well.” I imagined my family would be better off without me. And I held a kitchen knife in my hands contemplating ending my life.

After several minutes standing there, holding the knife in my hand, touching the blade to the blue vein in my wrist, I dropped it in the sink and ran upstairs. I fell to my knees before my husband and said “I need help.”

I was admitted to an emergency room and stripped of my belongings and my self worth. I was required to wear a prison-like uniform that was green rather than orange but still maintained the identifier that this person was a risk to themselves or others.

I was in the emergency room, so I witnessed #COVID19 patients being transferred to ICU. I witnessed a gun shot victim being escorted by police to the room next to ours. I witnessed a male so drunk, his hospital gown was on backwards exposing himself to the world. Food was brought to me at the end of my bed. Occasionally, a nurse would stop in to give me medication. I forgot things. I forgot who I was at times. I forgot where I was. I was medicated and confused. But I was not treated; I was monitored for three days.

I hadn’t slept in three days. I hadn’t showered without someone watching me for three days. I had been alone with my thoughts. I had a young man babysitting me all hours and yet there were no hospital beds available to move me from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward.

On that third day, I called my husband. I begged him to come get me and help me find a #MentalHealth retreat. Where I could work on myself, have counseling sessions, talk to others, and not feel like a prisoner.

My husband saved my life that day. He picked me up, brought me home long enough to shower in my own shower, then dropped me at a new behavioral unit with open beds across town. I checked myself in. I told my story, and the social worker said I would be ok. The heaviness would not always feel this heavy and the darkness would not always feel these dark.

I spent five days in the behavioral unit. We played cards, did yoga, played chess, shot hoops, ate a lot, slept a little, played backgammon, colored pictures saying “you are awesome,” rode stationary bikes and spent about 12 total minutes with a psychiatrist and social worker in those five days.

This is #MentalHealth . This is the state of #MentalHealth in our country. You either remain a prisoner at the local emergency room or you retreat to a behavioral unit where the techs are more worried about the number of plastic spoons that were handed out during meals than they are that a patient cannot see her way out. I would beg to see the light of day and one kind tech would open a door to the courtyard and let the sun shine down on me in -5 degree weath

17 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I spent eight days trying to seek psychiatric help

Part 1 of 2 Today I feel raw. Today all feels heavy. Today I cannot see light. These are the days between the good ones found in living with rare chronic disorders and the #MentalHealth associated with such diagnoses.

When I was 35, my life was literally flipped on its side as I was thrown out to sea with no sign of rescue. I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #MalDeDebarquementSyndrome . When I was 39, I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #ThoracicOutletSyndrome .

When talking about my disorders, I often talk about my symptoms: feeling as if I’m constantly in motion, nausea, brain fog, migraines, chronic pain, change of gait, and numbness and tingling down my arms into my hands. But I rarely talk about the #MentalHealth aspect of living with two chronic incurable diseases.

I was diagnosed with #Anxiety and #Depression when I was 19 years old. It’s no surprise that my #Anxiety and #Depression have increased as my diagnoses rolled in. It’s no surprise that I mourn the person I once was before my diagnoses. It’s no surprise that some days my chronic pain and chronic #MentalHealth are too much to carry.

This all came to a head three weeks ago when the world became too dark. When the weight of my disorders became too much to bear. I could no longer see my worth on this earth. I imagined the life my children would lead without me as a burden dragging them away from their lives. I imagined the relief my husband would feel not having to deal with me. I saw myself as a burden, I felt the pain of my illnesses and the truth of what it must be like to live with someone who always “doesn’t feel well.” I imagined my family would be better off without me. And I held a kitchen knife in my hands contemplating ending my life.

After several minutes standing there, holding the knife in my hand, touching the blade to the blue vein in my wrist, I dropped it in the sink and ran upstairs. I fell to my knees before my husband and said “I need help.”

I was admitted to an emergency room and stripped of my belongings and my self worth. I was required to wear a prison-like uniform that was green rather than orange but still maintained the identifier that this person was a risk to themselves or others.

I was in the emergency room, so I witnessed #COVID19 patients being transferred to ICU. I witnessed a gun shot victim being escorted by police to the room next to ours. I witnessed a male so drunk, his hospital gown was on backwards exposing himself to the world. Food was brought to me at the end of my bed. Occasionally, a nurse would stop in to give me medication. I forgot things. I forgot who I was at times. I forgot where I was. I was medicated and confused. But I was not treated; I was monitored for three days.

I hadn’t slept in three days. I hadn’t showered without someone watching me for three days. I had been alone with my thoughts. I had a young man babysitting me all hours and yet there were no hospital beds available to move me from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward.

On that third day, I called my husband. I begged him to come get me and help me find a #MentalHealth retreat. Where I could work on myself, have counseling sessions, talk to others, and not feel like a prisoner.

My husband saved my life that day. He picked me up, brought me home long enough to shower in my own shower, then dropped me at a new behavioral unit with open beds across town. I checked myself in. I told my story, and the social worker said I would be ok. The heaviness would not always feel this heavy and the darkness would not always feel these dark.

I spent five days in the behavioral unit. We played cards, did yoga, played chess, shot hoops, ate a lot, slept a little, played backgammon, colored pictures saying “you are awesome,” rode stationary bikes and spent about 12 total minutes with a psychiatrist and social worker in those five days.

This is #MentalHealth . This is the state of #MentalHealth in our country. You either remain a prisoner at the local emergency room or you retreat to a behavioral unit where the techs are more worried about the number of plastic spoons that were handed out during meals than they are that a patient cannot see her way out. I would beg to see the light of day and one kind tech would open a door to the courtyard and let the sun shine down on me in -5 degree weath

17 people are talking about this
Community Voices

I spent eight days trying to seek psychiatric help

Part 1 of 2 Today I feel raw. Today all feels heavy. Today I cannot see light. These are the days between the good ones found in living with rare chronic disorders and the #MentalHealth associated with such diagnoses.

When I was 35, my life was literally flipped on its side as I was thrown out to sea with no sign of rescue. I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #MalDeDebarquementSyndrome . When I was 39, I was diagnosed with the rare, chronic #ThoracicOutletSyndrome .

When talking about my disorders, I often talk about my symptoms: feeling as if I’m constantly in motion, nausea, brain fog, migraines, chronic pain, change of gait, and numbness and tingling down my arms into my hands. But I rarely talk about the #MentalHealth aspect of living with two chronic incurable diseases.

I was diagnosed with #Anxiety and #Depression when I was 19 years old. It’s no surprise that my #Anxiety and #Depression have increased as my diagnoses rolled in. It’s no surprise that I mourn the person I once was before my diagnoses. It’s no surprise that some days my chronic pain and chronic #MentalHealth are too much to carry.

This all came to a head three weeks ago when the world became too dark. When the weight of my disorders became too much to bear. I could no longer see my worth on this earth. I imagined the life my children would lead without me as a burden dragging them away from their lives. I imagined the relief my husband would feel not having to deal with me. I saw myself as a burden, I felt the pain of my illnesses and the truth of what it must be like to live with someone who always “doesn’t feel well.” I imagined my family would be better off without me. And I held a kitchen knife in my hands contemplating ending my life.

After several minutes standing there, holding the knife in my hand, touching the blade to the blue vein in my wrist, I dropped it in the sink and ran upstairs. I fell to my knees before my husband and said “I need help.”

I was admitted to an emergency room and stripped of my belongings and my self worth. I was required to wear a prison-like uniform that was green rather than orange but still maintained the identifier that this person was a risk to themselves or others.

I was in the emergency room, so I witnessed #COVID19 patients being transferred to ICU. I witnessed a gun shot victim being escorted by police to the room next to ours. I witnessed a male so drunk, his hospital gown was on backwards exposing himself to the world. Food was brought to me at the end of my bed. Occasionally, a nurse would stop in to give me medication. I forgot things. I forgot who I was at times. I forgot where I was. I was medicated and confused. But I was not treated; I was monitored for three days.

I hadn’t slept in three days. I hadn’t showered without someone watching me for three days. I had been alone with my thoughts. I had a young man babysitting me all hours and yet there were no hospital beds available to move me from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward.

On that third day, I called my husband. I begged him to come get me and help me find a #MentalHealth retreat. Where I could work on myself, have counseling sessions, talk to others, and not feel like a prisoner.

My husband saved my life that day. He picked me up, brought me home long enough to shower in my own shower, then dropped me at a new behavioral unit with open beds across town. I checked myself in. I told my story, and the social worker said I would be ok. The heaviness would not always feel this heavy and the darkness would not always feel these dark.

I spent five days in the behavioral unit. We played cards, did yoga, played chess, shot hoops, ate a lot, slept a little, played backgammon, colored pictures saying “you are awesome,” rode stationary bikes and spent about 12 total minutes with a psychiatrist and social worker in those five days.

This is #MentalHealth . This is the state of #MentalHealth in our country. You either remain a prisoner at the local emergency room or you retreat to a behavioral unit where the techs are more worried about the number of plastic spoons that were handed out during meals than they are that a patient cannot see her way out. I would beg to see the light of day and one kind tech would open a door to the courtyard and let the sun shine down on me in -5 degree weath

17 people are talking about this