#LISMentalHealth

“I’ve been accepted to the Simmons Library Science program”

I shared this news with my mentalization group in the Spring of 2013. I wasn’t sure it was a good thing. What if I weren’t cut out for it? What if I couldn’t hack it — what if I didn’t like it?

That was the real fear. Ever since leaving Berklee in 2009 I had fixated on library science as my future career path. My experience was limited to a student job at the Berklee Library and a circulation assistant position at Emerson College. I’d never done “real librarianship” nor cataloging, which was my intended focus. If it turned out that I didn’t enjoy it, if it turned out that the day-to-day tasks brought me no satisfaction or joy, then what? Start over, again? I didn’t know if I could do that.

  •  2002 –  I began college at Wesleyan University. I burned out. Badly.
  • 2003-2005 – Wandered the (highly privileged) corners of the Massachusetts mental health care system from the Austen Riggs center to McLean Hospital. Many weeks in locked units over different periods.
  • 2005-2009 – Attended Berklee College of Music part time, perhaps music was the answer to my problems. Was only hospitalized on locked units twice.
  • 2009-2012 – Attended UMass Boston and actually graduated with a degree. Was only hospitalized once.

Those years brought different therapies, and different drugs. Somewhere between depakote, wellbutrin, risperdal, remeron, topamax, celexa, ativan, effexor, seroquel, and cymbalta, I met up with borderline personality disorder. That glove fit and follows me (though less symptomatically) to this day.

So I sat in 2013 contemplating my future. If I’d been rejected from Simmons I wouldn’t have to face the fears I had of losing out on another ‘path’. The prospect of embracing this new future and potentially finding it wanting (or it finding me so) was terrifying. I couldn’t start over yet again.

But I went. I went to orientation, and then to classes. I made it through the Simmons program with zero hospitalizations. A record I’ve maintained since 2012. I’m now employed, and enjoying what I do.

The end.

 

Jk.

Dr. Manhattan is right. Nothing ever ends. It’s hard all the time. Not every day, not every week, but it’s always there — and it probably always will be. I’m getting by, and I’ll try to keep doing that.

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