When I was a girl, I was a Roman Catholic. In addition to going to mass every Sunday, I went to confession every Saturday. It was a sort of weekly bath for the soul so that I’d be clean and shiny the next morning as I knelt and crossed myself along with the rest of the congregation.
While I invariably did feel soul-cleansed following confession, the hours beforehand were dreadful. As I recounted to myself all of the myriad sins I’d committed in the prior week, I felt more and more ashamed. Even if I was only confessing that I’d stuck my tongue out at my brother, I slunk into the confessional as if I’d committed the St. Valentine’s Day massacre single-handedly.
I shouldn’t have stuck my tongue out at my brother; that was something to be ashamed of. But having bipolar disorder? No. I’m not at all ashamed of that. The society I live in, though—and even some of my closest family members—think differently. Discussing mental disorders, and how they affect the lives of those who have them, is taboo.
Tomorrow, Dawn of W.T.F. (words. thoughts. feelings.) writes about her experiences of shame surrounding suicidal thoughts. There is a difference, Dawn writes, between being ashamed and being shamed. It’s a powerful, raw piece and, for me, comes at a time when I need to be reminded that we have nothing to be ashamed of because of our neurodiversities.
Friday, I’ll post another funny to get the weekend going with a smile.
See you back here tomorrow for Dawn’s terrific post.
Janice Lindegard, publisher