12/12/18 #SameHere Hero: Mardi Simmons

Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: Mardi Simmons, is one we haven’t dealt with previously.


Mardi grew up in a male-dominant, abusive, & alcoholic household, which completely shaped her opinion of men, drinking, her own womanhood, & so much more. Also interestingly off of the recent polls, we have run, she was at first more comfortable opening up to others about her alcohol abuse than her mental health complications. But since she has opened up, she has gotten great support.


Mardi is very much self-admittedly a work-in-progress, but she’s so real & raw in her story share – one I think many women will relate to, & many men can learn from. Welcome Mardi!


“My father was an abusive alcoholic. I saw a lot growing up, & bc some family members had drug issues, I would get left alone a lot by my parents as a kid, so that they could go out. I would call to reach them something like 20+ times in a row, & they would just ignore my calls.


I see now why I have some of the problems that I do. My parents got divorced when I 18, just before I moved to Arizona to run away from everything. It didn’t phase me much at the time & I always say I wish they had divorced much sooner bc I think if they had, a lot of this chaos in my head wouldn’t be present. Monkey see monkey do.


I, myself, became a crazy alcoholic by the age of 16. I didn’t drink every day but when I did – oh watch out! I was always asking the next day after I drank heavily, what I did that night before, or I’d rely on friends to tell me how I acted, or the fool I made of myself.


Recently I’ve been dealing with an abusive relationship of my own – one that has lasted about four years. The abuse isn’t just physical…it’s actually much more emotional & mental.


I would get ignored by this person, & as a form of punishment, he would call me ‘annoying’ when all I was trying to do was communicate more. That name calling, in turn, would cause me to act more childish. My drinking at a young age didn’t help but being treated this way by him definitely brought out the child in me much more.


My partner would bring up bad situations from the past, every single day, & rather than just leave the relationship I kept responding to him that – everything was fine. Now I realize everything isn’t fine.


I think the way I was raised didn’t help my womanhood in the least. I don’t know much about being a strong woman, nor standing up for myself. At times I’ve felt very weak coming from a male-dominant household structure. I get so angry, that I end up hating men. Through the lenses of my upbringing, men often come off to me as disrespectful, & as though they just show interest in me for sex, only.


I can’t get many disturbing thoughts out of my mind. Things like – every man that looks at me is doing so just because they want sex. I’m always worried about the next bad thing about to happen. I’m always wondering why my friend is taking so long to text back. I’m wondering what I might’ve done that’s made it so that she doesn’t even want to return my message. I’ll go three days without showering. I’ll isolate myself all weekend & binge eating by myself. I often feel so gross on Monday mornings, beating myself up over the actions I took over the weekend. My ‘whole’ psyche feels very off at times…even manic.


When I do something minor, like making a mistake, it can spiral & feel like the end of the world, morphing into something major. I’m trying to find a way to be optimistic. And why can I be so happy and cheery for others & not myself!.


I went to my first AA meeting in 2015. I balled my eyes out, as it was the scariest thing I have ever done. I talked to my grandma a lot about alcoholism because she, herself, was an alcoholic & she convinced me to look into it. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2016, so I wasn’t able to get into more detail of the whole mental health complications topic with her. She was the one who started to make me realize how things from my past had affected me.


I went to my first therapy session after my boyfriend physically abused me about a year ago, & I’m excited to start with a new therapist next Tuesday. My symptoms haven’t gone away yet, unfortunately. I just deal with it some days better than others. I try not to let what hurt me, haunt me for too long <3...but I also hope the new therapist I am meeting with will help me more.   I absolutely love dance, & listen to music & it acts as another form of therapy for me. I can feel it in my soul, which helps lifts my mood as well.   When I told friends & family what I was going through, they acted okay initially. I first said I was an alcoholic in 2016. However, just recently I’ve been talking about my #SameHere🤙 story - my mental state. Ever since I opened up about my mental health, I’ve gotten nothing but support & ppl telling me they can relate. It’s a good feeling when someone relates because even though you think you’re the only one going through it, the second you start telling people what you’re going through there are five more people that say they can relate to you.”

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