On Monday after work Aaron was like “I’m taking you to the movies. We are going to see Silver Linings Playbook.” I mentioned wanting to see it because of Jennifer Lawrence. I honestly had no idea what it was about though. Like, I never even saw a commercial. I know I know… I’m behind the times.
Watch the trailer.
So, I was immediately sucked into this movie. Mainly, because I could identify with both Tiffany and Pat. My life was never as extreme as theirs. I never had to go to court. I never had a dead husband. But I battled (and still do) severe mental illness. I’ve had to do so much therapy. I’ve had to try several different brands of pharmaceuticals. I’ve had that conversation where I’m like “That one made me not sleep for 4 days straight!” I’ve had people talk about me like I’m “the crazy girl.” I had to graduate high school early because I was mentally unstable, and all my friends were scared of me. I was alone. I didn’t get along well with my parents. Especially the one of my parents who also has an untreated and unrecognized mental illness. I did crazy things because of my mental illness, that were completely uncharacteristic of me. I was a whore. I did drugs. I hurt myself. I was out of control. I had mood swings. I was delusional. Like Pat kept doing everything to find his wife and get her back, I was doing the same thing for the missionary I was writing and waiting for. I was trying so hard to impress him so he would love me. And do ANYTHING to get him to write me back. (TLDR: He gave me a promise ring before he left so we could get married when he got home. He made a secret girlfriend half way through who he was making out with on his mission. Never got caught. Stopped writing me a year into it with no reason. Didn’t have the guts to write me and break up.) I felt like I was driven to madness. I loved him so much and had no idea what I did to make him stop writing. I went crazy.
I had to learn how to focus, and be disciplined and be positive. I had to be brave enough to take my medicine and make an effort in therapy. I obviously didn’t become a dancer. But I became a pilot. Aviation helped me be focused enough to learn to control my mental illness.
It’s hard when people are judgmental of your mental illness. Not that it makes your actions right. There’s never an excuse for breaking the law or breaking commandments. But it is so important to be there and be a friend to those who struggle. And the most important thing to remember is that mistakes can be fixed, and we grow from them. I am sure as hell not proud of the things I did. But the Atonement is real. And I know Christ forgives me. I know that He gives me strength to battle this incurable disease. There ARE silver linings. I’m married to one. Life is good. Life is happy. It’s hard work, but it’s the best kind of hard work.