Your mom and I just put you to bed. You were home from school with Daddy today because you were sick. Today it was just a little croup and an ear infection. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics and steroids, and in no time, you will be back to smiling all the time. This isn’t the first time you’ve been sick, and odds are it won’t be the last. Although if your mom and I had our way, you’d be healthy for your whole long life. But we also want you to know that if you get sick we will do whatever it takes to help you get better again.
Someday, the following will make a little more sense but I think it’s important for you to know that not all sicknesses are easy to see. It’s Mental Awareness Week, so I want to tell you about my mental illness. Technically it’s called dysthymia, more commonly, depression. I’ve been seeing doctors and people to treat it for a long time now, and I feel one hundred percent better than I used to. You and your mom make me smile and feel so happy, and I don’t worry about feeling depressed anymore. I do watch to keep myself healthy.
Back to Mental Illness Awareness week, your mom and I want people to know that mental illnesses are just that, illnesses that need to be treated, medically. The biggest problem with mental illness, Nora, is the thought that you’re not strong enough to fix your own brain, and that you should be able to just get better. It’s not that easy and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Your mom and I want you to always feel free to talk to us about anything. And we will help you, no judgement or shame.
To everyone else out there, I’m guessing this comes as a bit of a surprise (to those of you who have known all along, thank you for all of your support over the years.) It took a long time to find the right people and treatment. It’s been a long road to get where I am now, but I wouldn’t change things for the world. I wrote this for anyone else out there with any problems. You’re not alone and you don’t have to go it alone. Click the header above for resources or send me a note, I’ll help. Kevin