When I lived in the city there was a really good mood disorder support group that I went to semi-regularly. It was big- they had to break it up into different rooms. The people were interesting, and ranged from psychotic manics and just-out-of-the hospital depressives to people with families and professional jobs. It was never boring. I could always find someone in the group to relate to, and I made friends there.
Now I am living in a much more remote area. There is one club house type organization in my town. I went there one day when I was so desperate to tell someone who I really was- I was severely depressed, and tired of the act I was constantly putting on, feeling like an imposter (and an increasingly bad one).
But I went there, and the people were nice and welcoming, but no one else there worked. No one else was an imposter- they just were. And while I was worried about keeping my job, they were worried about SSI benefits. I have been there- I was on disability. But that is not were I am now. These were not my issues. I didn't fit in.
There is another, slightly further away meeting just for mood disorders. I have gone, but not usually felt like I connected very much. But I should try to go again. Maybe it will be different.
There is a cost for being "high-functioning." And that cost is that I feel like the real me isn't known. If I make it in to work, I must be okay. That is what the world thinks. I may have spent 2 hours to get myself to stop crying so I can get dressed and in to work. It is this huge denial of self sometimes, it feels like quite a cost.
The cost is worth it to me, of course. At least so far. I love my work, can't imagine my life without it. But what I do is not without cost. I suppose that could be said of anything. Maybe I am just complaining.
But I would like to again find the company of people who understand this cost, and who understand the sometimes precarious nature of our recovery. Miss a few light sessions. Throw up a couple of nights worth of meds. Things start to unravel for the smallest of reasons. I think I am starting to mend- but it has meant two days of not doing much paperwork at work, and I will have to catch up. Am I supposed to tell my boss that? I never want to use my illness as an excuse. But it is a reason.
I am mending. I like that word. It sounds like an active process and not some kind of passive thing.