I have a friend/companion. We sit at an outdoor patio. We go to Starbucks. We attend poetry readings.
Wherever we go the talk often turns to recovery. Not a lot of people would be so open in places where others can hear you. It’s refreshing–and-life affirming–to have a companion in an almost soul-mate kind of way.
I firmly believe a soul mate doesn’t have to be only a wife or husband–a soul mate can be a member of your tribe. We talk about the Sonic Youth albums in our collections. Everywhere I go I’ve met someone entranced with the music.
I value that illness holds only a minor place–because I choose to focus on the life that is possible after a break. I’ve lived through the worst– I recovered.
A woman on the Internet who uses a fake name didn’t understand why I identified as a person diagnosed with schizophrenia. I identify as a person who had a breakdown–what’s commonly diagnosed as schizophrenia.
Yet the point isn’t that once you’ve recovered you should go your merry way. By all means: only if you want to go your merry way do so without guilt.
I decided to become a mental health activist because of the cost of untreated mental illness in America–upwards of $192 billion. I’m an activist because of the untold cost in wasted lives–in the loss of human capital.
Everyone deserves to have a full and robust life–not just a lucky few who get the right treatment right away. I advocate that you can have a full and robust life because no one who has crossed over should despair that they can’t come back.
I advocate–and I always will–for recovery for everyone.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted:
“Everyone must decide whether to walk in the dark of destructive selfishness or live in the light of creative altruism. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
My goal in this lifetime is to be an inspiration.
Your hell doesn’t have to go on forever.