It is my belief that to truly understand a person, they have to talk about their worst time. It is complicated, for me to do that personally, because my saddest memories stretched out for years at a time. It is hard because I admit my memories are a perspective of warped mirrors, psychotic thinking, and psychotropic medications. For a long time, I stopped making written records coinciding with my worst time, and one of the journals I had, inside the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Washington, DC, was taken up by hospital staff upon my leaving.

Part of the substance of what I am digging into, in looking back at my worst time, is I am considering those bleak moments as worthwhile for something, like building my endurance for suffering and ultimately making me into a more resilient person. When I look back at the worst time and hold it next to the present moment, I feel entirely better, moods leveled, psychosis gone, happiness present, confidence improved. More-so, I feel I now process things at an improved level from what I ever could have if the worst time had not become my life.

That time was such a transition for me, I changed so much, so suddenly. Family members refer to the fact I became a different person over night. I suffered through reacting to their mourning for who I had been, but deep in me, I also was suffering my mourning that same change. Part of it was on the surface, I gained 90 pounds the first year, and kept putting on weight. My body performed in ways I should not expose, that would make a weak stomach gag. I was lethargic, and this was a huge change for me, after an active life that far. My menstruation changed drastically from the ordinary flow of my younger years, to eventually being very light.

I experienced grief around these changes in my body. My mind thought a lot about the physical weight gain, which in itself was a mental weight gain of sort. Family members who I lived with discouraged me in choices they were making and I was often very bitter feeling towards them. I didn’t think I would ever be the same, or happy again. Interestingly, I never was the exact same again, but I have learned to be happy.

I guess what is happening here is I am sorry for the lost record of those bleak moments. I know there are pictures across time, actual photos of different phases of smiles and attempts at looking normal while suffering. I wish I had kept a diary my whole life.