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What’s in a name

I know that having a diagnosis can be a crutch. An excuse to not participate in doing things in my life. Much like my heart problem excuse (At least now I have a normal person reason to not drink). I get that. I know the temptation is there.

But I also feel like there is power in naming the thing. There is power in knowing that even though I might be crazy, I am crazy in a specific way that others experience too. I can gather all my symptoms in one place and say “Yes. You all exist. You cause me to suffer. But I know what you are.”

I can expose them to the light of day. It doesn’t cause them to shrivel up or burn away like a vampire. But it does cause them to lose their power. At least for me.

I feel like I am not so alone with a label I can use to explain my unacceptable behavior. I’m not so weird or twisted or broken. Or ashamed. Because I know that other people suffer the way I do. People that I admire and respect and love.

I do wish I had named these things sooner. I wish I hadn’t spent so many years in silence and shame. I wish I hadn’t thought it was somehow my fault or that I wouldn’t be believed. I wish I had spoken up and gotten some help sooner.

But the past is the past and it is never, ever too late to get help. No matter how troubled I am.

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