seeming normal most of the time

So here’s the thing about me that most people don’t know: it is a lot of work being me. Like, a lot of work, both physically and emotionally. I’ve learned over my life (see little miss perfect post) to hide my true feelings and anything that seems like the struggle that is being me. I’m so good at covering up how hard being me is sometimes that I often forget how hard it is, until something happens and I’m derailed emotionally or can’t sleep or cry a lot.

I came out as a lesbian in 1999 and that was a lot easier than coming out as someone with a mental illness. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2001 and I’ve been hiding it, for fear of the stigma, more or less, ever since. Some people who are close to me know that I have struggled, a lot, over the years. Meg certainly has seen the worst of it. But I finally feel, at 42, like I don’t need to hide anymore. And it’s not just about my age, I think we’re in a moment in time when a lot of people are taking about their mental health.

I am coming out of the mental health challenges closet I’ve been hiding in for the last 20 years and it feels good. I have more tools and resources to help myself now like: a great therapist, the right medications, a form of exercise I adore (come through Wheelhouse!), meditation and a lot of love and support. I also have a belief in my ability to manage my chronic illness whereas before, I wasn’t sure it was possible. I know that it is for me and I’m sure it is for you too. Come on out here into the light with me, it’s scary but feels good. xo Janet

Published by Janet Gwilliam-Wright

Feminist and queer. Professional teller of truths. Slayer of personal demons.

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