Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

I sit here tonight watching a couple episodes of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (yes, the inspiration for the title, I never said it was particularly creative). After having written my previous entry, where I admit to being kinda weepy, it really hit me how much I have come to care for the people I have gotten to know through my months of treatment.

From the Hope Unit at Menninger – which has been likened to the maximum security ward at a prison, since it seems that we were the place that the psychological hardcases got placed, and we seemed to have more on-unit restrictions than the other units – to my time spent here at the step-down, I have met so many good people. And while I have kept in touch with as many of them as I can, there are some who either don’t want to keep in touch, or who can’t keep in touch, or who just don’t know how. It’s hard.

I’m sitting here, with 4 years undergraduate experience and seven years graduate experience in English, and I tell you that I can’t find the words. The tears are running down my face and my eyes are so blurry I can barely see the keyboard, but I just cannot find the words to tell these people how much they have meant to me. Without their support, friendship, and the occasional kick in the ass, I don’t think I would have come as far as I have. I feel like I should have something inspirational or heartfelt to say, somethign that sounds eloquent and amazing, but even here the words don’t come.

I wish I could tell people here all about you guys, my fellow patients, clients, peers. Other people should know how selfless, brave, and caring you have all been. I keep a list of all your names on my phone and in my notebook, so I don’t forget. But that just doesn’t seem like enough. I am not often given to emotional displays, but thinking of all you have done, for me, for others, and for yourselves, brings it out in me. And you have done it all during some of the worst times in your lives.

There should be medals or awards for things like this. But almost nobody outside of our little community will ever know, because mental illness still suffers from such stigma. If you were soldiers, you would all be covered in medals for valor and bravery, but our injuries are to our minds and our hearts. Most people will never see the wounds, and most people will never understand them. Yet you continue on, and not just that but you help those around you.

The only thing that comes to mind right now, being the student of literature that I am, comes from the Bard himself, from Henry V: 

“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…”
We have all shed our metaphorical blood together, and we have the mental scars to prove it. Nothing would make me happier than to call all of you brothers and sisters. You have given and meant so much to me, I only wish I had as much to give in return. 
If you’re reading this, and you’ve been in treatment with me, and haven’t been in touch – I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here, or drop me an e-mail at I wish you all the luck in the world, and I hope for the best for you.



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