I have a confession to make.
I still wear the hideously ugly, ill-fitting, but somehow comfy, psych ward socks. Weird, right?
They are grey and have those no-slip grippy things on the bottom just like my kids’ socks and they bunch up awkwardly at the ankles. But yet I still have them in my sock drawer and I still reach for them when I go to pick out a pair of socks.
You would think that they would bring back horrible, terrible, awful memories of being locked up in a mental hospital against my will. Taken away from my babies so that I could get well. But that’s just it: I needed to be there. To get well. So I guess that is what I think about when I put them on. How I got well when I wore them.
I can remember the last time I was in the hospital and my Dad and husband came to visit one evening. I don’t know what it was that I said, but I can remember clear as day my husband saying to me, “You could ask them for another pair of those cozy socks” and it makes me smile.
I did ask the nurse’s station for another pair, and I must have asked for a third and fourth pair while I was there because there are four pairs of those pathetically ugly pairs of socks in my sock drawer: three grey and one blue. Would’ve been nice to have a pink pair, you know, for a flash of color in all the blah neutral.
Sometimes when I’d run out to grab the mail in the afternoon while the kids napped, I would worry that the neighbors would see me in my psych ward socks and then they’d just know. That was then. But I am starting to not care anymore. And it feels good.
Besides, how would a crummy pair of grippy hospital socks tip them off?
I have decided to make some changes and move towards putting my real name and face on this blog. If I am ever going to help erase stigma, I cannot hide behind an anonymous blog. That just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
A good friend of mine who I recently trusted to read my blog sent me an email saying that she thinks that it will be an amazing resource for people that are going through what I went through and are also scared to get pregnant. She went on to tell me in an email that she thinks I am an inspiration for people in the community because I am living proof that someone can manage the disease, have healthy children and an amazing, fulfilling life. She made me start to realize that it is important that I am trying to do what I’m aspiring to do one day through this blog. And I believe a big part of that is showing my true identity. I owe her a great deal of thanks for her encouraging support. It means so much to me.
But I’m not ready to do it all at once. Bear with me. Call it suspense, if it makes it more fun. Call me a scaredy cat. I’ll just call it me being nervous. Whatever. I’ll get there.
Let’s start with this. Baby steps. Me in my psych ward socks this morning.