It’s magical. You tingle. Emotionally, you connect with its creator. In a split second, a question flashes across your mind.
How could this person possibly comprehend my essence better than I do? Express so precisely my uniqueness.
That’s how I felt the second I spotted the three words “Coming Out Crazy” in the October 1999 issue of Canada’s first and foremost women’s magazine, Chatelaine.
The magazine’s former Editor-in-Chief Rona Maynard, and former senior editor Catherine Callaghan dreamed up that title for my 2,500-word autobiographical feature about my 39-year-life as a psychiatric patient. It so precisely encapsulated my spirit and the soul of that story, it became my brand.
I’m working on my Ph.D. in me…
In my psychotherapy, I’m working on my Ph.D in me, though I can never graduate with my degree.
When I read those three little words. That headline. Blink. I was transformed. Suddenly, I felt I was okay, enough. Finally, I fit.
“Coming Out Crazy” is process and a process. Both verb and noun. It’s a place. A virtual community. For sharing and conversation. Dynamic discussion. A safe haven for you, should you wish to share with me and engage with each other.
It’s my modus operandi. My therapy. It’s my way of working my world. It’s about healing. Becoming whole.
And for me, it works wonderfully. But we’re all different, so perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Is ‘Coming Out Crazy’ me?”
Or, “is it for me?”
“Is it who I want to be?”
“Is it possible for me? Would I feel comfortable, out and open?”
If not, “why?” And, if not now, “when?”
“What does ‘coming out crazy’ mean to me?”
These are provocative questions. As valid today as they were in 1999.
Take issues out of the closet and examine them. It’s liberating…
Questions lead to conversations. And conversations lead to human connections. Relationships. Even if we disagree. Or, as President Barack Obama is known to say, if we must “agree to disagree.”
Some conversations about mental illnesses are internal monologues. Silent. Secret. Repressed. Denied. Non-verbal. Acted-out. Self-destructive in a myriad of ways. Scary.
I prefer dialoguing out loud with people (and, if you want know the truth, even with my dogs). I revel in dynamic discussions. Open and honest. Taking issues out of the closet and examining them in the bright light of day. From any perspective. It’s emotionally liberating. Lightening my load.
“Coming Out Crazy” is our community…
Essentially, I’ve envisioned “Coming Out Crazy” as our community. As much about you as it is about me. It’s about us. Together. Exploring a wellspring of mental health issues. Myths. Truths. Realities. Yours. Mine. Everyone’s.
Learning. Sharing. Growing. With each other. From each other.
That’s what this blog is about and it feels like a perfect fit. “It’s me.”
I’m honoured to join the Psych Central team and delighted to meet you.
Now, let the dialogue begin.
What about you?
Photo Credit: Andrew Baxter