I decided to request my medical records from my first two hospitalizations. I received my records from Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday, and John and I spent some time reading what my records said. I was hospitalized at Mass General in November, 2000 and released the day after Thanksgiving. I remember quite a bit about what happened during that time, but my discharge summary and my psychiatrist’s notes gave me a little more insight into what was going on in my mind and in my life at that time. I am working on incorporating this first hospitalization into my memoir, along with the events prior to this time, and of course long after. Looking back, I can clearly see that I am a very different person than I was 12 years ago. I am in a completely different state of mind, I’m stable, and so much healthier! It seems as if this hospitalization happened a lifetime ago, not just a mere 12 years in the past. In many ways, it was a lifetime ago, although I’m still me, and I’m still living my own life in the present.
I’m glad that I am able to share my experiences, both in my blog and in my memoir. That way, my past experience has more meaning and more value. I don’t want to keep my past to myself, as mere memories rattling around in my head. If I can share my story with others, than I can provide understanding, encouragement, and hope to people who are struggling, either with mental illness, or with any other type of difficulty. Just think, “If she can do it, so can I!” Never give up.