Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler
In 2013 my life changed forever in a big way. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. The rollercoaster ride lasted for two years with 6 hospital stays. I have now been in recovery since 2015. As a Community Service Scholar at DePaul University, I’ve been driven to serve with my skills and talents. Writing is a passion and something I believe I am skilled and talented in. So, these words I write come from a place of serving my community. My hope is: these words serve in a way to help those who are experiencing what I have.
It’s sad. It’s sad to develop a Mental Illness that has such a stigma in our nation. I cried most days in the beginning during depressive episodes. I made up all these wonderful beliefs in mania. That when back down they fluttered away and I was faced with our shared reality. I was jobless, unstable, and sad. Depression skews reality just as much as mania. But when I was able to think – I’m sad – and grieve that sadness – I was able to rise above it. I rarely cry by myself over sadness. I believe it is because I took the time to honor that sadness when I was in it. Now I can look back and be proud of allowing myself to honor my feelings so I could make room for new ones: pride, acceptance, joy, contentedness. Honor your feelings so you can move past them, if that’s what you desire.