I’m Still Katie

As I sit down to write this first blog in Ontario Shores’ #5in5 series on #MindVine I find myself at a loss.

Where do I start?

Do I start with my own history of mental illness?

How about my career in mental health care?

Or with my children and my desire to give them the love and support they might need as they continue grow and evolve as people?

Well, maybe I’ll start with me. Katie.

I am a 34-year-old mother of two. I have an education and I have been working at Ontario Shores as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) for more than 10 years.

In lot a ways I am the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. If you saw me around town with my children you probably wouldn’t think anything of it. I’m just another wife and mother trying to balance work and family life like so many others.

But the truth is managing my mental health is also a full-time job.

At times throughout my life I have struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and panic disorders. Additionally, I am diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder.

The Bipolar II Disorder I live with is Rapid Cycling, which is defined as a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. In rapid cycling, a person with the disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year.

This is the first blog of five this week as part of the #5in5 series on #MindVine during National Mental Health Week May 1-7. As the series moves along this week I will share how living with mental illness and stigma has played a role in many facets of my life.

Opening up about my own experience has been something I have been thinking about for quite some time. In my time living with mental illness and helping others in the mental health care sector I have witnessed a change in how the world is viewing this issue. The progress has been remarkable. However, there is more to be done.

The environment, both professionally and personally, has steadily improved for those of us living with mental illness. I am participating in this series because I want the momentum to continue for my children, family, friends, colleagues, and everyone who will experience mental illness or a mental health issue in their life.

I look forward to the week ahead and sharing my story with you.

Katie Enright has worked at Ontario Shores as an RPN for more than 10 years. She is sharing her experience as a mother and mental health nurse living with mental illness as part of our #5in5 series on #MindVine. Each weekday during National Mental Health Week Katie will post a new blog about her experiences in an effort to create conversations and eliminate stigma.