I have written and posted 100 times since the beginning of Don’t Stigmatize Me. I started this blog on November 2, 2016. Since then, I have gone through, and written about, a variety of experiences. This blog has helped me express myself, share my thoughts and feelings, and reach out to others who need help.
My first post was A Letter to My Mental Illness so, for the 100th post, I have decided to write a follow up letter.
Dear Mental Illness,
Last time I wrote to you, I had convinced myself that TMS would rid me of you. Unfortunately I was wrong.
You have always been sly, doing subtle things that made a diagnosis hard. Your name kept changing: Major Depression, Bipolar II, Mood Disorder NOS. I now know that at least for the moment, I can call you Bipolar II.
You always seem to turn up at the most inopportune times. The worst was recently. You showed up just when my husband and I were going to start trying to have a baby. You do this and things like it to push me down. You thrive on causing me pain, and I know how disappointed you are when your attempts are thwarted, which is often; when you push me down, I have people who help pull me back on my feet even when I’d rather be left to rot.
Since my last letter, I have learned a lot. I have learned about you and your kin, such as major depression and anxiety. I have learned ways to deal with you, as well as how you interact with others. I have become a mental health advocate, and have persisted even when it was hard.
Who would I be without you? What would my life look like? I don’t know, and so I do not wish you had never appeared, but I do wish you would tire and leave me alone.