I come from a culture where mental health was very downplayed. Someone dealing with some kind of mental illness or addiction was simply handwaved away as being "unwell".  

My parents, being of good English stock, are old enough to where they still used certain types of threats in our upbringing: the threat of a policeman in the case of misbehavior ("don't do that or the policeman will get you!"), a dentist in the case of eating poorly ("go ahead and eat those sweets, but don't come crying to me when they drill through four of your teeth!") and of course, in the case of emotional outburst or some other feelings-related thing: "I will take you to a psychiatrist." They didn't really approve of the whole Californian self-help faddism, meditation, EST, and so forth. They thought it so much hippy-dippy bullshit. You didn't need the salad of pills my mostly female high school friends were on, all you needed was a stiff upper lip.

I was shaking in the waiting area, while there for my family. Mood stabilizer meds and shock-meds that they dope all incoming suicide-cases with are a REAL bitch to come off, and she wasn't up to driving.

Literally, shaking.

I started crying again. I've been doing it for no reason, pretty much nonstop. I asked if I could talk to someone, and was told not for another month, but to call a nurse in the system anyway.

That nurse told me to stay right there, and found a specialist inside the same building who had enough training to put me on an antidepressant with the promise that I'd come back to talk to a psychiatrist. 

I've been helping others for years. I've been awake til 2 am talking to lost people on the Internet and in real life who've needed my help. I've done mission work in the US and overseas, and volunteered my time, my money, and my cares.

But stupid, selfish, idiot me wasn't ready to accept help.

 

I've been journalling my feelings. Not here, but in a small blue book I keep by me all the time. I went to a counselling group therapy session and just listened. I'll maybe color in a coloring book later on.

It's funny, but we're encouraged to run to stave off cardiovascular problems, eat healthily to stave off obesity. We're encouraged to floss and brush our teeth to stave off gingivitis and cavities. But very rarely are we ever told to look after ourselves emotionally and psychologically.

Thanks to antidepressants, I'm not crying anymore, which is reducing stressors on my spouse. But it also helps her to know that she's not the only one, she's not the "broken" one, the one that needs "fixing". 

She's as proud of me as I am of her.

 

 

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