Photo from the Past

My friend S. North gave me this photo of use taken on the porch of the Leverett, Massachusetts house she was living in in the mid-90s. I’d lived with her and one other roommate (most likely the person who took this photo) for a summer and came back to visit that winter. We lived on 868 N. Pleasant St., though. She had moved by this time.

There are things I love about this picture. The fact that we both now live in Portland and see each other regularly. That I’m still overly reliant on one sweater-type object, bright in color, to keep me warm. (That’s my famous green sweater in the picture. It was given to me by friend Sara because her Great Aunt Hazel died and she knew I would love Great Aunt Hazel’s sweater.) I love that S. North still wears caps like that. That porch sitting was very fun.

However, this is what I wrote on Instagram:

Back in my green-sweater-wearing, porch-sitting days.

The truth behind this photo is that this was one of the hardest times in my life. My connections were few and felt tenuous and it was tough to get through every single day. I’m lucky to still be here.

There were respites, like this trip, and I’m glad to have had those days of light.

Mental health issues are tough. Hard to spot, hard to get treatment for in our health delivery system, and hard to overcome. It’s been a few decades since I’ve felt this way and I still do daily work to keep from sliding back.

While I do pine for parts of that time in my life I know I’ve traded it for something more solid and happier.

If right now is a dark time for you, keep reaching out, keep trying to get help, keep trying different things to make you feel better. The world can seem crappy and not worth sticking around for, but it is. Really

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