Friday, July 24, 2009

My Dear N,

(... the post that got this blog started...)

N
ear the end of last week
, I reached out and sent a message to this girl, whom I will call N. She was looking for support from an online group before she made her way to the Le Mansion to begin her inpatient stay. She had some logistical questions and really just needed some last minute support. I honestly don't know what it was about her post that made me go so far out of my comfort zone... as I am one to NEVER leave opinions on message boards nor add people as friends on facebook "just because" they ask.
I figured she wouldn't answer, or wouldn't be interested in listening to what some stranger had to say. I've been in her shoes before.

But here I was, writing to tell her that she could ask me anything; that I wanted to do whatever I could to help her get ready. She was really grateful and had some questions about what to pack, what to wear and wanted me to tell her a bit about my stay...

My what?!?!

Oh bother... not even my family really got any kind of deep insight about my experience there. I hesitated for a bit, wondering how much to tell her or if I should strategically get out of answering. I needed to get back to her, as her time left in "the real world" was short so I just started writing...
Now, I have always considered myself a true supporter for the Le Mansion (once I'd been through)... but it was amazing what I found myself telling her. I was completely honest and just tried to tell her what I would have wanted to know if I had half the courage she did to ask for support as I began my journey...It was not hard to write... until... near the end of my message I felt it...

It must have been hiding somewhere behind my belly-button, somewhere I can't easily see and therefore can't really run from or prepare for. The painful longing to be in a place where I felt safe and loved mixed with the thick guilt that I've connected to my relapse. I was one of the Le Mansion's poster children of
"you made a turn around like I've never seen.... At first, I honestly didn't think you were actually going to do it and now, you are one that I have NO DOUBTS about."
Welp girls and staff, surprise! I've fooled you again. lovely...

Don't get me wrong... I still stand 100% by everything I said about my experience and told no lies about what is in front of her and what she is going to face... It is unlike anywhere else and truly has the power to change and save lives.
The Key Is... that it changes the lives of those who give themselves up completely to the process, leaving nothing back, and trusting in the fact that one day true freedom will come for them too... even if they can't see it...
Whether I wasn't able to or just simply chose not to do that, I didn't...
and there that gross feeling sits.
In her final message to me before leaving she said that I had "eased her fears" and made her feel more confident in her admit. It was signed with a
"thank you... You are an inspiration... Always, N."

Dang. Guilt Flood #2.
If I could sit down and talk to her, or write a letter that explained it all to her; I'd set her straight about granting me that title. but I can't... So I'm writing it here.

...while its nice to be considered one, I unfortunately am not an inspiration. Yes, I went to Le Mansion and I've changed, but please don't give me that kind of credit. That inspiration comes from your desire to want and see more for yourself. You are going to see such people all around you in a matter of hours. To you N, the girl I have never met in person; You are the inspiration! I've never had so much care and love for a stranger, but as you go tomorrow, I'll be rooting for you, wondering who from my Mansion family you are meeting, and cheering you on
from many miles away...
At first you'll hate it, and I mean HATE it... Then seemingly out of nowhere you'll look around the unit (or maybe out the window at those beauties) and smile. You'll know the moment when you get there and from th
en on you hold onto all the love that you have for that place forever.
This I promise
...Always, S.