I started to journal regularly when I was admitted to the hospital for Psychiatric care in October of 2014 at my Doctor’s urging. It was my first of several long-term stays. I was released over 3 months later on January 19th, 2015.
Every year on January 19th (today) I am reminded of the day I was finally discharged from that first (long-term) hospital stay thanks to my Facebook memories (even though the date will forever be embedded in my memory with or without Facebook).
Those 3 plus months are still some of the most trying and difficult days of my entire journey which included many trials and tribulations with medications and a failed attempt at 8 sessions of ECT (Electroconvulsive Treatment).
Today I pulled out my journal that I’d kept during my stay and re-read it from end to end. I hadn’t done so in quite some time.
Reading it reminded me of just how trying and difficult a time in my life it truly was; not just for me but for Rich and my kids as well (which eventually led me to write and publish my children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?”).
I became overwhelmed with sadness while reading it but it was also a beautiful reminder for me as to just how truly blessed I am for all the love and support I have in my life.
It also reminded me why I decided to slowly start sharing my journey publicly shortly after my discharge on January 19th, 2015.
I was now nine plus months into my journey thus far. Up til now only my inner circle truly knew what I’d been going through.
During my inpatient stay I’d met so many incredibe humans (one of whom has since become a dear friend of mine). All of us on our own unique journeys, all of us with our own unique stories to tell, yet somehow we all shared a common bond.
I knew then that I wanted to be able to continue connecting with others who share similar experiences.
I knew then that I wanted to support others along their own journey and help them to feel seen and heard.
I knew then that I wanted to feel less alone and isolated.
I knew then that I wanted to build community.
I knew then that I wanted to raise awareness and help educate those who could not truly understand what it’s really like to live with a mental illness.
I knew then that I wanted to create an outlet for myself by opening up, by speaking up and by documenting my journey and reminding others along the way that they are not alone, that it’s okay to not be okay and that your mental health matters.
If you would like some more information on “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” or need someone to talk to please reach out anytime.
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