How to describe yourself after breakdown?

My story

One reason (of thousands) why people may not want to go into mental hospital is because we worry about how we might be described, both then and afterwards.

“Nutcase,” for instance.

Of course, few people are as heartless as to say that. But still, we wonder how to describe the person we have become.

I did, anyway.

I was recently asked to describe myself so that a friend could introduce me to some influential people who might help me spread the word. I didn’t know what I could say, so I asked a handful of friends.

Here’s one of the replies, edited to protect other peoples’ identities:

It is helpful.

I have had mental health problems, but I was previously, and often still am, together and positive.

I’ve been so uncertain, for such a long time, about my ability to do anything at all – and why anybody should want to hear from me.

So it’s helpful to have received feedback from my first-ever talk about my breakdown, to a large group of strangers. Here it is:

“Just wanted to say again, a HUGE thank you for today. You were ABSOLUTELY incredible.”

I’ve had positive feedback before. I hear it. I read it. I like it. But it never really went in. I always thought people were “just saying it”, because I didn’t believe in myself.

I sincerely believe that is changing.

At least, I hope it is.

My story