Guest Blog - by Diane Frost
Mornings look good to me these days and they have for awhile. I actually like getting up to see the sun. And, over the last few years I’ve enjoyed the challenge of school and regular work as a social worker. It wasn’t always that way though.
I think you know what I mean, when I say I used to sleep late when I was really having a hard time dealing with my mental health condition. It’s not that I wasn’t motivated or bored though . . .
In this life, I discovered when I was young that we can miss a lot if we’re tired and stay in bed, or under the covers somewhere. Somewhere, however defined, is a place to feel safer than anywhere else. It can be a person’s house or apartment, a bed, or sometimes we find a different place to hide.
Funny thing is I never considered it hiding, until a neighbor noted my absence from the rest of the kids on the cul de sac where I grew up. I truly was just resting for the next day, so I could get up and do it again.
Each day when I hid from heavy thoughts, weird emotions, and the taunting of others, was my “work,” and I had to conserve my energy so I could go through another. I proceeded until I couldn’t do the fake smile thing for parents and others. One of the adults in my life noticed this girl was in trouble.
All the difference was made for me with the one, the only, referral to my first psychiatrist. An interview and a blood test later, and I felt the surest I had ever felt that help was on the way. “Just keep walking,” I said to my tired self. Things were about to happen. Someone believed in my place in this life.
For me medication and talking about what was going on made all the difference. So, I did what was recommended. I was so excited! My parents asked me when I would feel the effects. No sooner did I get the question and ask my good doctor when I realized I was feeling better already!
Asking my mom if she ever felt like she was floating above the world, and not with it, she said “no.” When help found me, I felt this weirdness no more. I had other things to attend to as clouds lifted. I tried out for the running team, and got a cool jacket they all wore. I found I wanted to stop running away from all, so I joined the debate team with an excellent acumen for arguing. I won a prize in a speech contest, talking about God and Heaven, with a sarcastic twist.
With a feeling I cannot stop to describe, I joined life. In addition to earning a Master’s degree and starting work in the social work field, over the last few years I have been part of the NAMI Connecticut state board and involved in my local affiliate. I like that I’m working to help others find their pathway to recovery. I am still enjoying what I earned and that for which I waited a long time. Anyone who knows the feeling I’m speaking of, you’ve earned your peace in life.
NAMI Connecticut has 10 active affiliates across the state. They offer a community to all who participate and work to ensure that needed, free NAMI Connecticut programs, legislative activities, support groups are available for area residents. You can find the affiliates on the NAMI Connecticut website at: www.namict.org. Just click on “Learn More.”
Diane Frost is a NAMI member and social worker in Connecticut.