Being born with a lifelong psychiatric disability, this was far from my first stay at a mental hospital. This time was different, though; I was going into the hospital as a trans man (and I am still, very far from passing). About five months ago, I also attempted suicide as a transman but opted to pretend to go by my dead name and use she/her pronouns for two weeks. It did a number on my psyche, and I ended up spending the next five months pretending that I was cis. Don't worry, guys, just a big mix up! Just one big cis woman here!
One of the things I talk about in my new book Managing the Depression Puzzle is the idea of differentiating between illness treatment strategies and wellness promotion strategies. I think it’s a distinction that applies to mental illness in general. So what’s the difference?
Through popular media today there are many ideas of what psychiatric hospitals are like. From dimly lit and dirty hallways lined with people in straight jackets and screaming that they want to kill you, to unwilling people being strapped down to beds and having injections forced upon them. Hollywood loves to portray psych hospitals as scary places where people get tortured or forced into things they don't want. But is that really what it's like? The short answer is no, that's not what it's like at all.
Today, I went to my first NA meeting, Narcotics Anonymous. I have been to a redemption like this before. Therefore, I am saying that this isn’t my first adventure. Intuitively speaking, I should have never let go of this trip in the first place!
This morning I have been in a weird mood. I am not happy, but I am not sad. I am more in thought. I am, of course, thankful that at least I awakened to see another day, right? My kids are healthy and here, and my life seems to be okay if I was an outsider looking in. Many do not know that is what depression looks like. I go to therapy, take medication to control these vibes, But none of that works for more it seems. I want to be transparent at a point in my life, and I do not want to make the outside look good as much as I want the inside to feel good. That is the most essential part.