Things Blur

ESSAY & AUDIO BY LAURA FARRELL

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“Things Blur” is a story about a time in my life in which I had a “break from reality.” Due to PTSD (among other things), I had what was later described to me as a manic episode. I was deeply affected by trauma. My mind could not quiet and I stopped sleeping. After hospitalization, I first wrote the piece, in the form of a diary entry, to understand what had happened. Later, with time and space, I developed it into a story.

I submitted the piece to the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Festival and I was selected to read. The experience of reading this deeply personal story was nerve-racking. I was relieved when the reading was over and afterwards felt unsure if I should have shared the work or not.

Recently, I was sitting in a coffee shop when someone came up to me. They told me they had been at the reading and were moved by my words. It made me feel proud of sharing and created a desire to share more often. I think it’s important to talk about trauma and mental health but it’s a difficult conversation to have. I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable doing it completely, but I know it is important to try.

Read & Hear “Things Blur”

   

Life Lessons from “Our Town”

Video about Mental Health Workers at an emergency psychiatric hospital

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More often than not, mental health workers are anonymous players in any story about mental health recovery. Understandably, words like “strength” and “courage” are reserved for people who struggle daily with mental health issues, striving to improve their lived experience.

This post salutes a team of men and women who work at Montgomery County Emergency Service (MCES), a private, not-for-profit, psychiatric hospital in West Norriton, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

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An Open Letter to Everybody

BY Jennifer Marshall from Bipolar Mom Life & This Is My Brave

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Dear Wondering If I Should Share:

I used to be like you. Why should I air my dirty laundry? Why should other people hear about my problems? What if my friends all think I’m weird if they know my brain is broken?

I had those same fears. After being hospitalized four times I wondered if I had any friends left. My anxiety and paranoia made it a struggle to leave the house. I figured I probably wasn’t missed.

Life was good before mental illness invaded my world. Going from being the leading recruiter of an agency where I was making six figures at the age of twenty-six to being taken out of my home strapped down to a stretcher and later placed in a mental hospital was demoralizing. My reputation was shot to hell, or at least it felt like it. I had no idea how I was going to pick up the pieces of my life that were scattered all over the floor.

My bipolar disorder told me I wasn’t smart or successful or fun anymore. My anxiety tickled my limbs until I curled up in the fetal position only I wasn’t crying from laughter. My depression told me I had nothing left to live for. It shot vivid images into my subconscious and I couldn’t shut them out.

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Lessons From A Year Well-Lived

OC87 Recovery Diaries 2014 Recap

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Hello 2015! We at OC87 Recovery Diaries warmly embrace a new year full of new ideas, new stories and new opportunities for growth and recovery.

But before we move on too quickly, we thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the top posts from 2014 that resonated the most with our readers. Here are the five most popular posts from the past year followed by a reflection on what worked in 2014 for each OC87 Recovery Diaries team member.

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