I can remember when I first began slipping how what I would say would still be politely framed, but it would be said at an inopportune time and would be repeated unnecessarily. My mind was literally coming undone. I became dependent upon whether people responded or not to my emails and read into it unnecessarily if there was a delay of more than a couple of hours. And this was in 2013 – before email was at everyone’s fingertips.
Well, since 2015, thanks to medicine and lifestyle changes, with every month I get better about not caring about these kinds of things. Indeed, the effects of my medicine strengthened me to the point where I can be measured and thoughtful again. It really wouldn’t be possible for me without medicine. Of this I am certain. And using of the 17hats software that I wrote about in a different post helps daily tasks become even more effortless.
Imagine my joy this morning at discovering that LinkedIn (this post is not sponsored) has a new soft skills curriculum that is meant for people to become more proficient in interpersonal interaction. For people who are like me but are earlier on in their recovery (for me I was doing poorly 5 years ago – and if I’m honest I still have off weeks), I ask you to consider taking this free online class to relearn crucial interpersonal skills and fluencies that fade in the face of serious mental illness. We can learn again, and thanks to LinkedIn’s program, it can be free.
For a long time I identified strongly with the poor communication skills that my illness bequeathed upon me. I could put on a brave face and act “normal” if it was absolutely necessary. But it was soul killing to do it because it wasn’t really me. I remembered how to smile at the right time or how to answer the phone politely and efficiently, but it was no longer what I wanted to do. I was no longer the tactful twenty year old before serious mental illness. I was the deep depressed artist now in her 30’s. A voluminous writer and a world-weary philosopher.
But I am well enough now that I can say, no longer. I am ready to enter the world again and to facilitate wellness and contribution in others as well.