Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coming Out of The Closet - Mental Illness

The door is opening! My heart is heavy....I am coming out...time to come clean, be real, face reality. Time to not be ashamed, to be able to explain, to be understood. Time to open up the door and let the guilt fall to the floor (hey, I made a rhyme).

I have a MENTAL ILLNESS! Whew! I said it...I said it...I said it!

Now, get ready, I have DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder........wait, don't leave, I am not really crazy....I am not like Sybil or something....I am really normal most of the time, well, some of the time.....And when I am, I am a whole lot of fun to be around. I love life! I love to laugh! And cry! I love to hug and be held! I love to dance, and sing, and run through the real fresh cut grass without my shoes on (except for those sticky little hard ball like things and those pointy, thorny thistle weeds).

Oops! I got a little lost there!

I love my family- my dear husband of 25 years, my three children, my faithful few friends who have hung in there with me, my siblings, and my Holy Family (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)!

I love daydreaming, journaling, pretending I can draw, fingerpaint, sandcastles, gardens, digging my hand in dirt, being surprised by flowers coming back each year and forgetting they were there and how beautiful they are. I love birds, butterflies, little brown furry rabbits, my cats, and seeing the deer in our backyard along the farm edge.

I love that (as a friend long ago told me) I own as far as I can see in my backyard....that extends way into the open farm field all the way to the thick line of trees way ahead of the river.

I love skies!

I love reading, writing, reading, writing, and a little more reading.

I love photos...even more than videos...because to me pictures speak more.

I love quiet, being still, pausing to hear my own thoughts and those of the Lord.

I love fresh baked bread, and peach cobbler, reeses chopped up in chocolate ice cream and a glass of milk with fresh baked cookies, and my coffee...oh, so many fun ways to enjoy coffee.

So, I have come out of the closet! And you know, I don't think I am that really different from other people....yeah, I may not always be "myself" and respond "appropriately" and feel liked I can take on the world with a smile on my face.....BUT

I have a clear conscious, a right relationship with God, a tender heart for people, and peace...yes, peace - that one quality that everyone around the world is trying to get...World Peace. I have it! And if I just had the chance, if people could just not see what I do wrong, how I act weird at times, I would love to share with anyone how to get it!

That is the kind of person I am! Mental Illness, it is not so bad....and life is certainly brighter on the outside of the closet than when I was hiding inside.

Have you ever needed to come out of the closet or someone you love? Can you relate?


  1. This took real courage, Lindylou. Mental Illness isn't "who" or "what" we are. It does not define us. It is one aspect of our personalities, and one part of our lives.

    You sound like you have a right relationship with Christ, a loving family and support group. You are blessed.

    We, your readers, are blessed that you shared part of your story with us. I've found courage is contagious! I know you have touched others and inspired them to be more authentic and more grace-filled:-)


  2. Mary,

    Your kind words are such a blessing to me. I so agree that any illness does not define us.

    I have so much hope for God's continued healing in my life.

    thank you.


  3. Thanks for taking the couragous step of sharing this, Lindylou. And I loved the rays of light and hope shining through your article where you show us so clearly that you are still you, with so many passions and life pursuits. The mental illness does not define you - your relationship with Christ and God-given uniqueness defines you.

    Praying for your healing too. :)

  4. Lindy Lou, My name is Linda Lou and related immediately! : ) I originally found your "Letter to the King" on TRW. I was about to comment there as it is beautiful and then decided to explore a bit first. I will return there to reread the letter. I came upon this article and wept. Not sad weeping for you but joy in that you did have the courage to share, did show the "rays of light and hope" as Peter shared, but also for myself. I care for my 95 year old mother with dementia. Not only do I watch my beautiful mother become less and less of the mother I have always known, but I am dealing with depression of my own. The doctor I see about fibromyalgia point-blank one appt. day asked me if I was 'depressed' ... tears began to fall. You bet I was and am. I never thought I could become 'depressed'. Not me! I am so optimistic and yet realize now that the me whom others see is on the surface. The me that even I did not see lurks beneath. The doctor could see through me for he has treated me for many years. He knew that the face I showed was hiding the face he saw. Thank you for sharing because you are helping me deal with what is happening to me... through the stress and strain of being a caregiver.
    I once was called 'Lindy Lou' by my third grade teacher!! ~ linda


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