Losing people due to having a “mental illness”* is difficult to swallow but it happens. I’ve lost people in my life because of my “mood disorder.”
Sometimes it’s only in hindsight that you realize your behavior was XYZ, but it is NEVER your fault and there is NOTHING wrong with you.
What IS wrong is the tendency for people to distance themselves from or make snap judgments about a person who seems “crazy” or “weird” or awkward.
People who care for you will take care of your relationship with them. People who care for you will ask if you’re OK and if you need support. People who care for you don’t say things or ask you questions that make you feel “other.”
You are not an other and you are not alone. 💖
Have you experienced loss due to your mind illness? How did people in your life respond to your mood disorder? What’s your experience?
Image courtesy of A Rich Mind (@mentalwhealth) via Instagram.
*in quotes because I think most of the clinical terminology we use is stigmatizing in the brain health world.
Well, 2015. This is it. It’s been a year, hasn’t it? I’m not gonna lie. You’ve been difficult. A real bitch at times. Cancelled wedding. Death of a friend. Moving away from Meowster Thumbs McGee. Endings of relationships in so many ways… and tumbled and tangled betwixt all of that, depression and anxiety visited. They’re good at that – visiting. Those loyal old friends.
2015, as you bid your farewells, I realize how suffocated I’ve felt throughout the year. Looking back, it seems like I spent the year gasping for air and grasping for respite in deep, calming breaths. Some days, it felt as though, with each step, I sank steadily into a sandpit sludge of shame, guilt, insecurity, disappointment, fear, and quadruple-guessing. (Though, this unsettling swirl of emotions also loomed on the many days I lay supine – taking actual steps not necessary.)
But, as time ticks on, 2015. I am thankful. Thank you for kicking my ass when I needed it. Thank you for encouraging me to continue to learn and to grow. Thank you for putting me first.
You never invited in hopelessness. You offered up pain as a platter of opportunity for gaining wisdom. You inspired me to seek alternate perspectives. You told me to trust my gut, especially when it felt ‘wrong’ (translation: unfamiliar or different, not wrong or right). You inspired me to seek out more of myself and to honor the process of seeking. You reminded me that you are a friend and that you want the best for me, as each year does. I trust your friendship. Thank you for trusting mine.
I’ll give 2016 your regards and we’ll talk about you fondly over a bubbly, sparkling flute of champagne. Thank you, 2015. And Happy New Year.