S3: Fine Line - Episode 11 - Molly

Episode Information

Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness – Episode 11 – Molly

[Intro Music]

Narrator:  Welcome to Season three Fine Line narrative histories about mental health and mental illness, a traveling exhibition and weekly podcast edited and hosted by Michael Nye, supported by Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. May you find insight and understanding in these voices. Episode eleven, Molly.

Molly:  When I was fairly young I would be lulled to sleep listening to the radio, and I love to listen to the San Antonio Missions games. And I would just turn on my little radio and drift off to sleep. Listening to the missions, my, my hero was Ryan Duran. He could throw a fastball a hundred miles an hour. My father was my ally against the world, I guess you’d say. We were just on the same wavelength. I can rarely remember him saying, I love you. If ever we could discuss a baseball game, and I would know that the man thought the world of me. Uh, unfortunately, my father died when I was 21, and I think probably when he was gone. So suddenly I was almost unprepared. And this was difficult because the world is not unconditionally accepting and loving. After graduating from, uh, SMU with a degree in French and English, I obtained a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Trinity University in 1981. I’ve always been pretty overwhelmed by how much there was out there to know, and how little I knew in comparison. Oh, I believe my, uh, initial breakdown was brought on by excessive stress. Teaching had become increasingly difficult. I was, I was in a, a very unhappy and stressful marriage, and all of a sudden I had nowhere to turn.

I had a horrible, horrible nightmare. I saw bolts of lightning and heard voices, and, oh, I, I guess it was about four in the morning, and I woke up hysterical. I think I admitted myself. And one of the questions they asked me, I’ll never forget was, do you really think you’re an angel? You know, I remember thinking, if I just had a bowl of chicken soup, I think I’d be fine. I never had the slightest clue that I would be diagnosed with a mental illness until it happened. It was like a shot outta the blue. I had always thought about the mentally ill as almost a, a, a separate planet of people. And suddenly I was one of ’em. Uh, my diagnosis of mental illness is bipolar, schizoaffective. When I got out of that hospital, I’d see people walking across the street, and that it would appear to me that they were going like 20 or 30 miles an hour, just zoom across the street. And I’d think that person is from Venus. That person is from another planet. My brain would revert to these just unbelievable ideas. I had never experienced anything like that before, not ever prior to taking the prescribed medication.

I think with any type of mental illness, it’s very important to feel that you’re, you’re still useful. And it’s been a struggle for me. And I hear this from other people, oh, I can’t do that. Well, the focusing on the negative is deadly. Got to look at what you can do now. And I, I think this is true for anybody who’s mentally ill. You need to have hope. And sometimes if you really get down to it all, although there are wonderfully supportive families and friends, sometimes you feel like, Hey, it’s just you and me, God and I have been there.

[Outro Music]

Host: Thank you, Molly, for sharing your voice and your story, for your courage and presence. May something in Molly’s story stay with you. You can go to my website, michaelnye.org/podcast for portraits and transcripts. Thank you so much for listening.