As many of you know, I am a strong proponent of the anti-stigmatization of mental illness. I’ve written about mental health several times and created a pretty nifty comic that got some attention on and off the internet. I believe that one’s struggle with their own mental health should not be something that should be kept buried inside for fear of judgement or backlash from people they trust, especially since society doesn’t have this same stigma against physical illness. I, for example, was very comfortable being open about my jaw surgery before it occurred and during my recovery. However– I’ve never really talked in a public forum about my struggles with my own mental health.
So, since I don’t wish to be a hypocrite and pretend like I’m going off for a few months to some retreat or gap year program instead of telling everyone the truth, I’m going to tell the truth.
For the next 1-2 months, I’ll be checked into the Timberline Knolls inpatient program in Illinois to focus purely on my mental health. Some of you know that I’ve struggled for quite some time with depression, anxiety, and body image issues. I’ve finally come to the decision that what I’m dealing with is something I can no longer face alone or with a haphazard team of therapists and psychiatrists. I’m really excited to be finally spending all of my time figuring out how I can be the best person possible, and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to partake in this residential treatment program.
I’m glad I’m finally getting this out there, and if sharing my experience means someone else who reads this will feel comfortable getting the help they might need, then I’ve done my job as a human being. I really hope this unspoken taboo against mental illness will disappear someday, but for now, this is what I can do to make topics like depression and eating disorders less invisible.
Now for the really fun part– Since this is a serious inpatient program, the only way I can talk to you guys is through snail mail. I won’t be online for as long as two whole months (if you know me well, this is a huge deal)! So, if you absolutely need to contact me for any reason, you can send a letter to my home address and my parents will forward it through to me.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all of you around Halloween (spooky) and hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot better by then! I’m leaving on Thursday, so until then, I’ll be basically online 24/7.