“The week after my 30th birthday, my best friend had me committed to a psych ward. Two days later, I had emerged with a life-changing diagnosis. The hard part hadn’t even started yet.”
I read this post a few weeks ago. I didn’t cry, but I did let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
Everyone’s different, but that’s how it feels to me when I read a story that resonates so deeply with me that it makes me feel that from this point on I will breathe easier, just having borne witness to someone else’s journey. I was lucky that I was not hospitalised. And I use luck in the sense that it had nothing to do with me or any coping skills I had, it was just the weird happenstance that I had a mother who was working in the mental health field at the time who watched me, while making frantic calls to line up a decent psych referral. It did mean that I could be in a familiar place physically, even if not mentally. It probably was not a great thing for Mum’s mental health. You just don’t have the distance when it’s your own.
I love hearing stories of recovery. It’s why in my personal life, I’m not super-shy about sharing my own. I do get pissed when certain friends asked “if I’ve been taking my meds?” when I display any uncomfortable emotion. But sadly, women get challenged on the validity of emotion-sharing all the time, so that kind of gets filed with the sitcom-standard “have you got your period?”, although in both cases my respect for the questioner gets less every time. They’re not showing concern, they’re invalidating your response and making you question whether you really are falling apart again. It’s bullshit and unfair. /rant