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I want to tell this story well. All I have is an imperfect offering.

I watch leaves change.  I watch as dogs walk their people, and garbage trucks come and go and the clouds drift and the sky lightens, and darkens, and lightens again.

“The whole world is moving, and I’m standing still.”

Here, in this small moment.  One deep breath.

And then…

I haven’t written here for a long while.

Sometimes it feels like all of this is little more than me trying to say I’m someone that I’m not, trying to say “look at me.”  I try to write about living authentically and loving well.  I am still such a rookie at these things.  I stopped writing because I am struggling to live peacefully, justly and mindfully.

Something has been askew lately.  Something in my brain.  Doctors have told me its this brain chemical or that one, this learned behaviour or just the season or my situation, or maybe its genetics.  I don’t know.  But for awhile I have not felt like myself.

And yet even that isn’t really true, because the honest truth is that I’ve felt some form of this “askewedness” in greater or lesser degrees for, well, as long as I can remember.

I don’t want to admit that I have a mental health issue, but I do.  I want even less to call it an illness.  But it is.

Why does admitting it cause such terror so deeply within me?  I fear the stigma of being labelled as a ‘needy, over-dramatic, attention seeker.”  Maybe I just need to do more yoga, or eat less sugar, or sleep better, or meditate, or put on a happy face.  (Or ask God, but that’s a whole other post…)

The thought of sharing these words with you fills me with fear.  I know how people with this disorder are stigmatized.  I fear that you will assume I am unfit to work, or have a relationship, or contribute in some meaningful way.  I am afraid you will assume you must be careful what you say to me, or worry that every small moment of anxiety or impulsivity is a sign of greater instability.

Maybe someday this pain will lesson.  This invisible stone that crushes me will lift.  Even now I’m afraid you are reading that sentence and judging that I am over-reacting.  So why should I admit anything at all?  Because, if the statistics are right, I’m not alone in this.

I know how hard it is to identify the problem, to know whether it is real enough to seek help, and then where to turn for the right help.  I know the frustration of achingly slow progress towards recovery.  I know the dead ends that come and the shame of overwhelming those closest to me with my pain, pain that is simply beyond their ability to heal.

I also know the love of some great people, who challenge me daily to accept my whole self in beauty and brokenness.  And I know that although this is a difficult process, I am still becoming.

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