A small word with so much power. It can sum up the power of millions, describe the feelings and accomplishments of many, or symbolize the embodiment of two people against the world.

Today it felt like my undoing. That seemingly tiny word – a word that can encompass so much – appeared to rob me of my stolen jewels, even if just for a few short moments.

I spent the remainder of the group I facilitate overcompensating for my misuse of the word, knowing full well I didn’t misuse it – only in this setting, at my work was it misuse. Yes, WE suffer from these diseases and yes WE are in recovery.

But they can’t know that.

And for once I felt so fake. I felt like an imposter. I just wanted to swallow the words as they left my mouth and sit in silence.

I’m not faking my recovery, but having to hide my illness can be unbearable at times. I don’t have any other choice; I’ve seen how the other staff treats our peer support personnel. For fear of being swallowed by stigma, for not being taken seriously despite my years of work to get to this place of recovery and stability, I choose to keep my diagnosis a secret.

Fuck. I hope no one caught it.


2 thoughts on “Solitaire

  1. I’ve much respect for peer support people. I personally believe that the stigma regarding mental illness in the mental healthcare systems of the world to be a damned shame.


    • I completely agree. I think peer support has an extremely important job. For clinicians who has no personal experience with mental illness or medication side effects, they can bridge that gap and serve as advocates for the patients. It does ZERO good when clinicians look their nose down at peer support; I see them as working two jobs. I could easily have been one and so could anyone; I think people forget that.


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