I remember so well the outfit I wore that Christmas Eve, I had excitedly picked it out just for my date. As soon as the clock struck the time of departure, I did one last twirl in front of the mirror and quickly made my way downstairs to meet him, to go see The Rockets at The Radio City Music Hall, Christmas Show.
When I saw him, he handed me a big box with a red bow on top. My eyes lit up when I opened it.
There it was, the prettiest, classiest winter wool coat. The coat was a grayish white color, perfect for the season. I never owned anything like it.
Too thrilled to say anything, I held him tight for about three seconds, then put it on. I had no mirror to see myself but still, I knew the coat looked stunning by the way he stared at me.
I ran back upstairs to show her. "look, look" I said with a big smile, I made a turn and a four step cat walk, took off the coat and said, "feel it, isn't it just beautiful?"
She ripped it of my hands, ruffed it up , threw it on the floor, and began to viciously and furiously stomp on my gift.
All along, he was down stairs waiting for me.
During a 14 year period many of my past experiences made me angry, unstable, fearful, traumatized, depressed and lost. Through treatment, healing and recovery, I am a different person today, full of compassion for myself and others. I learned about mental illness and how it has affected me, as well as those closest to me.
Through awareness, education, appropriate treatment and ending the stigma attached to mental illness we can help ourselves and those who are suffering. The more we ignore mental illness, the less people will get the help they need.