“It’s amazing how our moods can be reflected in how we dress, act, and talk and yet people fail to notice that we are not okay.”

-written by my 16 year old daughter Alexia

My sixteen old daughter wrote those beautiful and perceptive words about me, her mom, about three months ago. Her words carefully sculpted and spelled out one letter at a time displaying the truth of what mental illness is as seen through the eyes of a child much wiser than her years, due to the days and years of struggles living with a single mom with severe Bipolar Disorder.

Her words were neatly written on a piece of notebook paper that was carefully cut into a small rectangular shape with the masterpiece of her words perfectly centered in the middle of the rectangle.

After I returned home from the hospital, I found the small piece of notebook paper on Alexia’s bedroom desk smiling at me as if I was supposed to find it. It loudly called out my name and waved at me so I would notice it, find it and read it. It was my gift from my daughter without her even knowing it.

My daughter Alexia wrote these words and maybe more that I did not find while I was in the hospital due to my severe suicidal depression. I had been sick for a long time before I was hospitalized trying to fight off my symptoms and hide the pain I was feeling as long as I could from my daughter. I did not do well at hiding anything as she knew how sick I was even before I entered the hospital. She has always been very smart, perceptive and intuitive and I cannot hide myself from her. She knows me and loves me too well.

“It’s amazing how our moods can be reflected in how we dress, act, and talk and yet people fail to notice that we are not okay.”