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Reflection: 11 Years Out Of Hospitalization

It’s been 11 years since my last vacation at the crisis stabilization unit. That’s a mental health facility hospital…description for anyone that doesn’t understand the terminology CSU. That’s not to say, I haven’t needed to go to the hospital during those 11 years.  

Fact is, I probably should have been hospitalized a couple of times due to depression and suicidal ideation and thoughts of harming myself. Nevertheless, I made it through it. I worked my wellness program and did everything I possibly could not just to avoid the hospital and to avoid back-stepping as much as I could.

There’s a toll this diagnosis takes on everyone, whether you’re in remission or in a full-blown episode! The toll is always paid; an emotional tribute of sorts. I find myself an emotional debtor to my diagnosis, making me oh so much more demanding payment.

I wish I could tell you some type of solution or cure to such an emotional debt. The truth is I have none to offer other than just moving forward. And maybe, that’s the best solution you might ever hear because it works. Just take small steps, baby steps as long as that’s all you can do. At least you’re moving.  Moving toward something. This is very important to acknowledge that movement even if it’s the slightest increment of space–celebrate and enjoy it. With a new diagnosis and so few moments to celebrate, I say celebrate them all.  

I believe we should live for the days we: put on our socks, get out of bed, feel even a drop of respite from a diagnosis…I say celebrate it!

Today my goal was to do something, I did it, it was mundane, small and in this large scheme of things will never matter to anyone else but me.  But I did it!  Just saying: “I did it!” empowers me to do something else…to keep moving forward out of this dead zone of depression. Even if I’m moving just a smidge right or inch left, I am moving! I did it–so can you!

Reflection: 11 Years Out Of Hospitalization

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2019). Reflection: 11 Years Out Of Hospitalization. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Mar 2019
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