The Big 4-0 and Finally Some Relief — Mental Illness and Recovery

Tomorrow I’m turning forty and it definitely feels like a milestone. I thought I’d be more upset about getting older but I’m actually doing just fine. I don’t want to do anything big to celebrate; I just want to go out to dinner with my husband and daughter. Here’s to another decade!

I have been struggling with depression as I’m sure you can see from my blog posts. This led to a medication change about six weeks ago. It took a few weeks, but when the medication kicked in, I felt a drastic change. It was like someone woke me up. The heaviness has been lifted and things are getting easier. It’s hard to find words to describe the difference the medication made. I feel joy. I can focus. I can sleep at night. I think the best word to describe it is “freedom”. It doesn’t erase the stress and drama in my life but it sure makes it easier to deal with. I am so grateful to have a good doctor and medication that works for me. You really see how much you were struggling when you finally find some relief.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder years ago and have managed to live a relatively normal life. Most days I’m fine and maybe I’ve taken that for granted. I act like I’m invincible but it’s pretty incredible how fast my mental illness can pull me down, and once you finally address it, it can take weeks to recover.

And then there’s the eating disorder. I was stuck for months but now I’m in a good place and I feel I can finally put my experience at the treatment center behind me. It was the nightmare that saved my life. I needed it and now it’s done. I just want to focus on the progress I’ve made.

It is amazing what modern medicine can do. My life has been greatly impacted by mental illness since childhood, and I thank science for giving me a life worth living.

I love my family, I love my job, and now I want to write my butt off. Life is good!

Thirty-nine was rocky and turbulent, and now I’m ready to put this year behind me. On to better things…

Thank you all for your support. I absolutely love reading your comments. There are some really smart and thoughtful people on this website.

I’d love to hear some stories of your milestone birthdays!


  1. Katydid says

    Happy, Happy Birthday tomorrow! Definitely celebrate you and your family! Thanks for being open about your struggles.

  2. flexilis says

    Ah! To be 40 again…

    At that point in my life I had just made a radical career change that has made a profound difference (for the better, an a multitude of ways). So glad that many things are going well for you. Thanks again for sharing your writing, your trials and triumph, with us. Your courage is an inspiration.

    Happy Birthday!

  3. John Morales says

    40 is a great age. I recall my 40s fondly.

    Mentally mature enough to know what’s what, physically young enough to have health and vigor.

    Also, great to hear you’re in a better place. Life is good.


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