Intentional Peer Support: A Personal Retrospective
Shery Mead 2010
The door of the mental hospital locks noisily behind me and I realize that already I’ve succumbed. “You know that you need to be here. You are ill and we’re here to help.' It’s been 5 minutes and already I am a mental patient. Up to this point, I’ve understood my experience as a “normal
reaction to abnormal events.’’ But that understanding is now shattered with the realization that I am ill and science is on their side. Reactions become 'symptoms,' feeling at the
end of my rope is 'suicidal ideation,' and forgetting becomes 'dissociation.'
All my life I have been running from messages from the outside world that define how I see myself, interpret others, and generally how I operate in the world. Early on it was all the messages of shame and otherness. “It’s your fault, you made this happen. You are just bad.” What’s wrong with you anyway, what’s your problem?”
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