I haven’t been writing here for a while. I switched to writing in my journal because things were too personal for me to feel comfortable sharing. But I’d like to write again. Especially about a few key moments that I’ve had lately.
The first was a stand out night for Bring Change 2 Mind, led by the glorious Glenn Close and supported by her amazing cast from Sunset Boulevard, on Broadway right now. Bring Change 2 Mind is a non profit that seeks to address the stigma of mental illness and the negative effects that has on people who need help but don’t feel like they can ask for it. They toured the great numbers of vintage Hollywood, including an amazing rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” accompanied by just a cello, and Glenn closed the night with a heartfelt speech about how mental health stigma has affected her personally. Her charity came about because her sister Jessie was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, but only came forward for help when she was seriously suicidal. Glenn’s nephew was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and spent a significant amount of time in a hospital receiving care. Now he is married and happily making furniture somewhere out West.
Her speech brought me to tears. It is such a poignant argument: mental illness is so stigmatized in our culture (and much more so in many others) that people don’t seek the appropriate help and feel marginalized or even penalized when they do. I question, all the time, how open I want to be about my mental health but even in my most uncertain moments, I believe that it is too important not to be honest and even more important to seek appropriate treatment. I’m in a much better place than I’ve been in in years, though of course there are still things in life that are stressful. The difference is that I can deal with the stressors in a healthy manner because the combination of ECT (not current but the course I underwent two years ago), medication, and biweekly therapy keeps me afloat. I cannot express how much I believe in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). If you choose one type of therapy to expose yourself to, pick that one.
I am very thankful for everyone who has been supportive of me during both the period when I was out of my mind and now, during recovery and exposure.
I somehow made it through the semester and actual got decent grades. Finals almost made me crazy but I kept the insanity under wraps, enough to get it all done, even though my math final made me want to cry.
We had to find a new apartment the first week of May, so I went shopping with my mom and our friendly broker. The very first apartment we saw ended up being the one I chose, and with very lucky timing. We submitted an application for the apartment literally an hour before someone else did. So here we are in our new space, by the luck of an hour.
We spent much of the beginning of May packing, cleaning, and moving. We finally moved into the new place on May 19th and I love it here. It’s a more active neighborhood, closer to the subway, we have more space, and it feels like a real home. I’ve managed to get rid of a bunch of things, put a lot of stuff in storage, and with the help of my amazing parents, moved comfortably into this new space to start another chapter in our lives. I had many memories in that old apartment. Some of them were good. We got married while we lived there. We had happy moments. But there was also massive sadness that lingered on the walls, in the windows, beyond the doorways, around the corners, sneaking up on me when I least expected it. I benefit tremendously from relocation away from tough memories. Environment makes a huge impact on me, so here I feel lighter and ready to take on the challenges that I have ahead of me. We’re here for at least two years so I don’t have to go through the hassle of moving again for a minute. My psychiatrist mentioned that moving is one of the top life stressors. I absolutely don’t doubt that. I felt crazy at times. I yelled, I cried, I gave up, my back gave out, you name it. Without my mother we wouldn’t have gotten out of that apartment, hands down. Poor Husband got sick two nights before we had to move and spent the whole day before with a 103.5 degree fever languishing in bed, sometimes appearing for water if he could muster it. It was not easy for any of us.
But now we’re pretty settled in to the new place. Much of our stuff has been unpacked, though we are still organizing. We’ll get there.
Before I go…
Politics. WTF is going on?