After reading the last couple of posts, I can’t help thinking back to when my life with mental illness began. How far I have come! My story wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t understand a little about this part of my life.

In 1965, at the age of nineteen, I lived with psychosis for several months, not understanding what was happening to me. The only doctor I saw at that time was my GP who had no understanding about such things. Psychiatry was not well understood – or even trusted – in those days and so my doctor wouldn’t send me to a psychiatrist. My condition worsened and my parents had no option but to take me to the ER. From there I was transported to Riverview Hospital where I spent a total of ten miserable months.

But I was fortunate. A caring young man who had started taking me out before I was hospitalized, spent time with me when I had weekend passes. He was not ashamed of me in the way many would have been. Considering this now, I wonder if this didn’t help provide me with the good self-esteem that I have carried with me. I have seldom felt shame about my illness.

After leaving the hospital, we kept seeing each other, eventually getting married. Because of my mental health problems, which never went away – and actually increased in recent years – life together hasn’t always been easy. But, with God’s help, we are making it work. In May of this year, we will be celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Quite amazing!

I couldn’t possibly have done all I did without someone like my husband by my side. I couldn’t possibly have had the life I did. He is God’s great gift to me.