When you’re going through a difficult time with your mental illness, it is hard to find comfort in any place or even yourself, and especially from others. It just feels like no one really gets it, and it may be difficult to find others that have gone through similar experiences. I wanted to share an experience I had that really stands out to me of when I felt the most comfortable with others.
Since I just started a new college program it brought back memories of when I attended that college two years ago, for a non-academic program. This was a bridging program for people who have gone through mental illness or addictions, and had taken time off from their regular lives to reintegrate into the school and working world. My psychiatrist recommended this program to me, and I was very skeptical about attending it at first, but I ended up loving it. It felt amazing to be with a group of non-judgemental people coming from similar experiences and being able to see them Monday to Friday. You could say anything about your mental health in that group, there was nothing to hold back. Thinking back on it, I think this was the most comfortable I have felt with a group of people in my entire life.
I know that not everyone with a mental illness is as fortunate as me to attend one of these programs, because maybe they have long waitlists, or there may not be one in your area, but even finding comfort in one person, a place, or just from within yourself is good enough.
On the same topic of comfort, I was very nervous about starting a new program at school this year, but I am very happy to say that I feel just as comfortable with this group of students as I did with the students in my previous program. Since it is a specific program it feels like everyone is on the same wavelength, and we are all more connected. Also, it is comforting that the same 50 students are in 4 out of 5 of my classes. I feel like this program is finally the right program for me, and hopefully I remain feeling this way.
I am very fortunate to have these experiences that have made me feel very comfortable, and wish the same for you.
About Elena B.
Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.