I am thrilled to announce I’ve become a contributor at The Mighty, an organization that has been a source of comfort, support and endless resources for me over the last few years. I look forward to sharing more there about the ways that mental illness and the pursuit of wellness weave through our family, marriage, parenting, and friendships. If you are also on this path, I know you’ll find encouragement and insight in their resources and community!
When I was young and in love and putting the final details on our wedding plans, I spent an evening curled up on our scratchy goodwill sofa reading through the vows we would be making in a few short weeks. I tried to picture it, all of our loved ones gathered together, our friends standing up beside us, the beautiful Rock River flowing behind as we made lifelong promises to one another. Dreams finally becoming reality, the beginning of our life together, the first day of a grand new adventure.
The line “in sickness and in health” felt so out of place in all the flowery, lovey language. A little bit of real talk smashed in the middle of the wedding day magic. I tried to picture what would happen if a tragic accident or illness rendered this man I love totally reliant on me. Could I feed him, change his diapers, wash his body, attend to his every need? Could I accept the loss of a lover, a confidant, a fellow adventurer? The answer came fast, confident. Of course. Of course I would. I would do anything for him.
What I didn’t know then was how illness was already creeping into our lives…