Mental Health Awareness Week

January 18, 2012

Today I learned that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. While I have major issues with the term “mental illness” (implying that all people who are sensitive to the traumas faced by so many, or who can’t conform properly to our strict and often unreasonable societal rules, written and unwritten, are just “sick” and need to be shut away or medicated), I still think mental health it’s a very important topic.

It made me realize how much I’ve neglected this blog, and how much I left unsaid after my long, grief-filled absence. I think now is the most important time of all for me to share my experiences with the few of you who want to hear them, and the many out there who might benefit from stumbling upon them on this great resource we call the internet, now that I’ve conquered the worst of it and am living a fairly “normal”, happy and independent life.

This is a long story and will have to be written in installments since at the moment I’m suffering from severe tendonitis and am unable to use my right hand.

So I’ll need to go back in time first, I think. When I stopped writing over a year ago, it was spurred by a very traumatic event for me. In therapy, I spoke out for the first time in my life about the trauma in my past and less than a month later my boyfriend (who was not only my lover and my rock but also my main caregiver while I was locked away from the world, and my advocate to the outside, legally and informally) was gone. The pressures of loving and caring for someone so broken and incapable had finally gotten the best of him. He stood by me for so long and I greatly appreciate it and can understand why he left, but at the time I was only angry, hurt and depressed beyond belief. At the same time, an argument with my sister left us not speaking for quite some time. And some poor decisions made by my therapist resulted in me quitting her as well.

I spent months completely secluded in my studio, having multiple panic attacks per day and unable to eat or sleep much at all. I began exercising compulsively, in an attempt to wear myself out so that when I lay down to sleep I wouldn’t feel as if I were being electrocuted. I worked on some very intense and disturbing art pieces and spent the rest of my time crying, walking on the treadmill and doing sit-ups push-ups and any other type of exercise I could think of until I could barely stand.

Around this time, my mother decided it was time for me to come home. Being the most loving and dedicated mother (even when her baby is far too old to be considered to need babying) she spent far more time and money than she had to give flying to Washington, loading my belongings into a truck and renting a car to drive the two of us, my dog and two cats 3,000 miles across the country and back to Vermont.

Stop in later for more of the story, hopefully I’ll have it up in week or so but perhaps longer considering WordPress barely works with dial-up and old-ass computers.

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One Response to “Mental Health Awareness Week”

  1. Sarah Peller Says:

    Can’t wait to hear the rest!

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