A 25-year anniversary tomorrow [2023-01-19]

This was originally an email.

Dear family, friends, colleagues or support staff,

My hunch was to try and be brief.

I have directed this to you because we have a lot to do with each other or you mean a lot to me.

Tomorrow, it will be 25 years to the day that I was involuntarily admitted to the Austin Hospital’s psychiatric intensive care unit, or PICU. It was an acute psychotic episode.

For years I had been scared and in denial about the mental-health issues I knew I had. But upon waking up in the controlled environment, I readily accepted my issues. Hospitalisation was actually a relief.

Why is this something to celebrate, or even to remember? The answer in one word is: survival. I have survived to this day.

Why is ‘surviving’ to me a big deal? Simply because, for the last 30 years, I have experienced episodic depression; very bad at times. Bad enough that, I would say hundreds of times by now, suicide has been an attractive option.

It’s a big load of pain and, in order to be helped, I have had to take medication every day, which I have not missed once. That was the easy part. The more painful thing for me was to ‘open my mind’ (or expose it) to doctors about the symptoms I had.

So, in concert with the doctors and pharmaceutical technologists, this is a medical miracle. Equally, and even moreso, it is God Who has kept me alive and given me success. My life is now a constant hymn of thanks to Him.

Now, having shared this joyful moment with you, you are all my friends. I thank you for what you contribute to me and others.

I would be happy for this text to be distributed far and wide to people who need encouragement.

Stephen