Being Open

After writing about my experiences regarding my mental health this last week, a friend of mine here in Koh Samui asked me a great question. My last post on paranoia had left her hanging. She knew everything that was going on during and after my crisis, but never talked to me about it out of respect, probably not to put me in an uncomfortable position.

She wants to understand how I began to see more clearly, to accept that I was paranoid.

I am trying to understand that myself.

I spent a few months after being hospitalized thinking that Maher, the rest of my family, and the doctors were conspiring against me, that saying I was mentally ill was part of the “plot” against me, to control me.

I was in denial.

Some of the most important moments of change and acceptance happened gradually, as I started to open up. I talked to some close friends about my situation and I assumed they knew what had happened to me because in my mind, in my paranoia, they were in the “plot” at first supporting me, and then going against me.

But, the more I saw the looks of surprise on their faces, their shock that I was hospitalized, on medication etc, the more I started to realize that most people around me actually had no idea. Even those I considered close.

So they couldn’t possibly have been in any sort of plot.

“Maybe it is mental illness?”, I began to doubt myself.

Thankfully with Maher’s encouragement that I open up, be more honest with my trusted friends, now more broadly, I am able to see more clearly.

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Another important point was that Maher stood firmly on his ground. He never entered into my paranoia when I shared my wild thoughts with him. He remained rational and in control. That gave me a strong boundary.

I am grateful to a friend of mine who once told me how she lived her childhood guarding family secrets. Now that she has her own daughter she has chosen to break the family pattern and decided to be more open to herself, to her daughter, and to friends. She inspires me to have more sincere friendships, to share my experiences, thoughts and feelings openly.

AS I said in my last post, being open and direct is part of my healing process.

Thank you for continuing to read, for the support and for helping me understand all of this better.

I appreciate the thoughts, comments, and questions.