Who am I?

I am a young woman, a few years shy of 30, who loves dogs and art and history and music and helping people.  I went through high school, undergrad, and graduate school with ease and have earned a reputation for being a hard worker and passionate about what I do. I’m a teacher and a leader and I find purpose in providing a place for people to be.

I have anxiety and bipolar, and I self harm.

And every day I fight with myself over what to share and how much, especially on my difficult days. The fear of mental illness, of advocating for a legitimate illness, destroying my career and my friends is very real. And it shouldn’t be that way.

I am a young woman, a few years shy of 30, who loves dogs and art and history and music and helping people.  I went through high school, undergrad, and graduate school with ease and have earned a reputation for being a hard worker and passionate about what I do. I’m a teacher and a leader and I find purpose in providing a place for people to be.

Mental illness is hard.

Mental illness is terrifying.

Mental illness is isolating.

Mental illness is exhausting.

Mental illness is soul sucking and relationship destroying.

Mental illness lies and scares the pants off of people who don’t even have it.

It’s a source of empathy and a source of lonely self-hatred.

It’s a thing that can be spun into a positive when you aren’t in the depths of its darkness.  But the second rock bottom comes back, you’d sell organs on the black market if it would make it go away. Or, more realistically, perhaps death doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

It’s an illness where the concept of “wanting to get better” holds more power than it should, and the misunderstandings grow into a real fear that force people to suffer in silence.

Complications of the illness, like suicidal thoughts or attempts and self harm, don’t beckon get well casseroles and offers to watch the kids so you can rest or get yourself to treatment.

It’s an illness rife with shame and denial and pretending and rejection and fear.

And no matter how many people support you, it is still a battle you have to ultimately fight from your core, on your own, with your own hope, dread, fears, peace, and sadness.

But as I said before,

I am a young woman, a few years shy of 30, who loves dogs and art and history and music and helping people.  I went through high school, undergrad, and graduate school with ease and have earned a reputation for being a hard worker and passionate about what I do. I’m a teacher and a leader and I find purpose in providing a place for people to be.

I am not my illness.

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