Most of you know that I stay out of warm climates whenever possible. Therefore it seems utterly insane that I left Boston today, in the middle of a snowstorm (Ursula was her name) to fly to Dallas. Intentionally. Where it was 80 degrees.
I’ve been thinking for a very, very long time about writing this post. Years, actually. Part of it has been the courage of Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, that’s allowed me to even think about doing it, part of it has been the necessity of living a life that is so controlled by this somewhat hidden part of myself, and part of it is that I feel more and more like I’m lying by not being open.
Truthfully, there’s still a huge stigma. I have lost at least one job because of it. I have family who flatly refused to believe me when I told them. Interestingly, it was an email I received from a friend at Harvard yesterday that made me realize that not only did I want to spread the word about the contents of her email, it was the perfect venue through which I could finally open up and come out of the mental illness closet.
My name is Kelly Hopkins and I am mentally ill. I have Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD.
Many of the readers around here know that Geoff and I both have neurologists at Boston Medical Center. You may also remember me singing in the Boston Medical Center Concert When Patients Heal You last November. (Video is here, sorry for the sound quality) I’ll be singing in the concert again this October. Watch this space for more details.
Anyway, the BMC is loaded with great talent and with people who give their time and talent to not only give back to the community here in Boston but also but to raise money for others who need it, as well as to fund health care for those who would not otherwise have access to it. I’m not performing in the concert listed below, the pianist/nurse/saint I’m performing with in October is. Check it out.
And it is just fantastic. And funny.
As many of you already know, I am a lover of history. Maritime history is especially one of my favorite sub-fields of history, and I love to see historic ships or reproductions of historic ships at any opportunity. I am lucky enough to live in a state (and a region) that has many.
So I went to the old Navy Yard in Charlestown on Saturday, since my back was feeling a bit better and I was feeling up to doing some walking around. And I am so very glad I did, because for the first time ever I got to take a tour of the inside of the USS Cassin Young, one of the museum ships kept there by the National Park Service.
I am just now managing to recover from I guess what you might call a flare-up of my old back injury. For a little while, it was pretty bad. But it is getting better. I have been utilizing the collection of canes that Kelly and I got not quite six years ago when I managed, in the space of a few months, to badly injure my right knee and then my back. Probably the worst injuries, at least in terms of recovery time, that I have ever had.
But this current episode makes no sense to me.
Yesterday Rerun had his second bout in a little over a week of vomiting and listlessness. Last night was the worse of the two episodes and it was clear by bedtime that he wasn’t a happy dog. He didn’t want to eat anything and he was clearly uncomfortable. He woke us about every hour through the night heaving, vomiting, or whining. We were encouraging him to vomit because there was clearly something bothering him that he needed OUT.
I wanted to say thank you for all of the kindness and consideration given to us this past week. It really does mean a lot to me to get so many cards, phone calls, visits, and all of the other things people have done for Kelly and me. We really feel loved.
And as if the universe wanted to say “sorry Geoff, here’s something to cheer you up”, my beloved Red Sox won the World Series last night, right here in Boston at Fenway Park. It is so awesome to walk around today wearing one of my Red Sox shirts and have total strangers – some with Red Sox gear, some without – suddenly smile from ear to ear and give a thumbs up, or laugh and say “Go Sox” or all sorts of other combinations. It really makes me feel great. Maybe 2013 will have some redeeming qualities after all.
And I wanted to say Happy Halloween to everyone!
*And if you haven’t seen the Jack Chop infomercial yet, what’s wrong with you? Watch it, just remember it’s NSFW.