I know I have previously mentioned having a family member who was severely mentally ill. I also, however, have other family members who struggle with issues like chronic depression, borderline personality disorder and being bipolar (oddly enough, due to my blended family, none of the people dealing with these issues are biologcally related to the family member who was hospitalized and heavily medicated for much of his life due to severe mental illness). Because of my acute awareness of this issue, I wanted to share this post from Dooce.
It absolutely had me in tears, and not because it is in any way sad. It was just wonderful to hear from the perspective of someone on the inside of this situation. It was familiar. I have watched this. My relative who is bipolar went through so much when she was younger and had a long period of just not being the person I knew and loved. She has been on medication now for almost her entire adult life and, while I know she went through some years of struggling with insecurity over "needing" to take it, I think she is at home with it now. She embraces it because she is MORE "her" when she is taking it than when she is not. Proper medication and periodic counseling gave her back to us, and to herself.
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