Do check out this blogpost “The Super Terrifying Grandma Vanelli” which examines the stigma of mental illness, and the shame felt when you have one.
I cringed as read the story of Chris’ cousin, knowing the sad punchline that was coming… She had been diagnosed with a tumor on her spine: “If she needed anything, anything at all, they said they would be there for her. ‘She got flowers, candies,’ Chris says.”
When Chris was diagnosed with a mental illness, he says, “’I was very glad that I got told there was something wrong because I knew [my experiences were] not ordinary.’ But there were never any I’m-there-for-you calls from family. No one sent flowers … ‘When you’re mentally ill, people think you should just suffer in a room of needles and pins. You deserve it.’”
Ouch. I’ve thought this of myself. I’ve begun hearing stories from others along the same lines. I wish I could just pick myself up and be done with it. I know others have wished that of themselves too. But I can’t. I’m here. I’d like to keep moving toward a place of balance, and when I can maintain that for a while, I’ll feel I’m in recovery. But unexplained mania or depression could still be just around the corner. I’ll try not to cower in the corner.