I am sorry that when you and I were talking about this the other day, I was having such a hard time forming my thoughts. It was a sappy day for me and I just couldn’t get my mouth to say all the things my brain wanted to express. I decided to write this blog to you (knowing you won’t read it because you do hate me and want me dead) because for me, writing is the only way I can truly form some- what coherent thoughts. I will use myself as the example and I trust that you will be able to insert yourself in the appropriate places.

For years, I had an undiagnosed mental illness. I always knew something wasn’t quite right with me, but I chalked it up to being a writer. I thought this was just the person I was and I had better learned to live with it. Also, there was such a big stigmatism to having a mental illness I didn’t want to say I had one. No one wants to take a pill for the rest of his or her life. We were always told the pills would take away who we were and all the creativity would go with it.

They were only half right about the pills. It is true that the pills change us; but it is for the better. The voices in our heads that tells us such horrifically negative things; the pills quiet that voice. All the times we couldn’t get out of bed because we “didn’t feel well”; the pills give us the energy to go out and see the world. The medicine helps us become a stronger and sharper version of ourselves. Lastly, the pills don’t hush the creativity; they make it easier for us to do the creative things we want to do.

For years, I was on autopilot. I’ve talked about this before and just the other day I told you I sometimes wished I never woke up from the autopilot haze. It was so much easier just to show up and be guided. What I don’t think I made clear was why I really was afraid to give up my autopilot life.

It was what I had known for years. It was who I was and how I defined myself. It boils down to being a bad habit like picking one’s nose or smoking. The unknown is a far greater risk than the known and I’m not big on taking unknown risks. So I clung to my old self hoping I could just keep going and no one would notice.

I wasn’t as good as I thought I was at hiding my mental illness. I certainly wasn’t a good friend to people. I let my fear of becoming someone else stop me from living the life I was destined to live.

I am in the process of waking up. It’s hard baby; I won’t lie to you. Sometimes I get so sad and I have no idea why. My best guess is I’m frightened of being someone new. Will people like the new me? Will I even like the new me? What I have been finding out is the people who really love me and are really here for me are so happy I am waking up. They love watching me take back my life. Also, they like having the person they always saw come back into their lives.

I look at you now and I understand how my friends feel about me. I am watching you, the person I have always known you to be, come back to life and it is the most amazing transformation. For the first time, you are learning your true self and while it is a very frightening thing to do; it is also very rewarding. The people who truly love you will stand by you and the rest can just suck it because you didn’t need them anyhow.

I understand the fear of taking pills for the rest of your life. Hell, I hate having to take my damn synthroid every day, but I know I have to do it. There is nothing wrong with taking a pill that helps you calm the negativity and allows your true self to shine. Mental illness, in my opinion, can be worse than cancer because at least people can all understand cancer. Most people don’t understand mental illness nor do they want to understand it.

Just as I am in the process of doing now, you have to let that old you die. Our old selves have no place in our new lives. We need that room for our creativity and our true friends. It’s hard, but let go. There is so much more worthwhile to gain by letting that toxic version of ourselves go.