While sitting in the hospital working on feeling better there was one nagging thought going through my head. What will my community think? I already knew my employer would not be happy I am in the hospital for a Anxiety Disorder and Mood Disorder. But what would they small community I live in think?
See I moved from a large city where my condition was well managed and not many judged me. Then my wife of 12 years left me and I moved to a small town in Iowa where my family lives about a year after she left. I got a high position with a prominent company in this small community. This kind of illness is looked upon as weak the stigma is very much alive,
Not only do I have to worry about the financial repercussions of this episode I recently had I have to worry about my place in the community now. In short it kind of feels like Daniel in the lions den. Sitting there waiting to be devoured. Then something occurred to me. My family members are by my side and the people I care for are by my side and that’s really all that matters.
I can not sit at this moment and give some inspirational quote or idea, but what I can say it that the people who are supposed to be in our lives are the ones who will always support us and thus those are the ones we need to surround ourselves with. While I deal with the stigma that will happen, I will put my sunglasses on to block out the haters. Learn from this and continue to grow. I not only have faith, I have hope and a ridiculous determination. See, I have realized that many with a mental illness are the strong ones. We are the ones who deal with something very difficult on a daily basis and yet we conquer, overcome, and in the end thrive. I refuse to be devoured because I am the lion seeking to devour the fear and the hardships that I face ahead. We are the king of the jungle because time and again we devour our fear, we devour our sadness, we devour our daily struggles with a ferocity many without an illness can not.