Saturday, April 29, 2017

Unbroken by Mental Illness

I've been in therapy since I was 15. I was hospitalized five times as an adolescent and spent ten weeks in a residential treatment facility. 

I'm still not "fixed". 

I sometimes feel that because I'm not as unstable as I used to be that people expect me to have become all better. I felt like this a lot after I came home from Canon. 

I don't know if people really expected me to be better or if it was just another unrealistic expectation I placed on myself, but I've come to realize that I will never be "fixed", and more importantly, that I don't need to be. 

I am unbroken. I don't have to be repaired. 

Mental illness is a clinical illness. Just like having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome does not make me damaged or less than, neither does struggling with mental illness. 

Needing to go to therapy every week does not make me weak. I am receiving treatment for my illness. Would you deny a man with kidney failure dialysis? Of course not. 

In my early years of diagnosis I mainly saw what my illnesses would take away from my life. The things that were no longer possible for me. I saw how my life would never be normal and the hardships that would follow me. 

I didn't have the eyes to see at that time the changes that were happening in me for the better. I didn't see the strength and the insight I was developing. I didn't see the voice that was blooming waiting to be set free. 

Now I do and I realize that even though I am not "fixed", I don't need to be. This is who I am and this is who I will stay. 

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