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    Honoring Sadness

    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.