I chose today to be my very first post. And, after some thought, I feel that perhaps a brief introduction to me would be in order. With that in mind, I would like to tell you a bit about some of the defining moments in my life. As a competitive prepubescent gymnast in the late 70’s , I suffered my first traumatic brain injury…..Pain…..Confusion…..Fear……Betrayal…… I recovered ( so I thought) and went on to high levels of competition, in many areas including academics, which led me to the next defining moment I will share with you. I was able to enter college on a scholarship before my 16th birthday. At the time I thought “This is the beginning of my adult life!” that I was OH SO eager to begin……Freedom…..Independence…..Eye Opening…..Yes in retrospect, I lacked the emotional maturity and worldliness needed to undertake that fantasized journey. The next defining moment came with birth of my daughter. She was born early due to a devastating car accident and under difficult circumstances, but from the moment I first laid eyes on her, I felt the most incredible opening of my heart. More love than I ever thought was possible to have. More fear and anxiety than I had ever known to that point….. Awe….. Inspiration….. Protectiveness….. Meaning…..
I went on to give birth to a gorgeous son. I have married and I have divorced. I have known poverty and I have known financial success. I have owned beautiful homes and I have lived in my car. I have had triumphs and I have failed. I have known peak physical performance and devastating illness and loss. I thought I had experienced moments in life from each different end of the spectrum and my ego told me that no matter what life would throw at me I would be okay. That was the plan or so I thought.
Well, have you heard the saying? People plan and God laughs. I had heard “labels” attached to my name, as most of us have, many times over the years. I had experienced diagnoses attached to my name, as most of us have, many times over the years. But there were two words…..monumentally heavy in their weight and baffling in their implications……just two words that when pronounced out loud and attached to my name literally brought me to my knees. These two words were a defining moment in my life. As a matter of fact, these two words are continuing to define my life at the present moment. These two words……MENTAL ILLNESS. So call me crazy, I’m okay with that now. My second adulthood is just beginning, and these two words may just be a blessing in disguise.