I recently received an e-mail from someone asking about "how to get someone to counseling." This person knows that I have a history of mental illness, and that I am open about this, and that I am interested in talking to others about it, and was hoping I could help them with someone they care deeply about.
In the interest of sharing my thoughts with anyone whom it could help, I decided that I might share that account here. Eventually, I want to reflect on why I have chosen to be as open as possible about my experiences, even though people over-sharing online gives me the creeps, and I loathe the feeling that I'm acting self-important.
To anonymize the content as much as possible, I've opted for "they/them" as a gender neutral, third person singular pronoun. My middle-school grammar teacher was the amazing James Goodson, and because of him I know that these words are actually plural. Unfortunately, I have no other elegant way of respecting privacy.
Anyway, here's the story: