Silent Heroes Revealed

I do want to say something important to all of you as well, amigos bonitos.

I am overwhelmed by what so many people are doing to help me. I truly thought I was friendless and alone in this mess, but you all have demonstrated otherwise and have done so in such a beautiful way -- and there are so many of you who cared, too. The nurses often commented that I received more mail from you than everyone else on the entire unit combined. Yet I thought I didn't make a difference at all, but all of you have shown otherwise.

I am going to just make a list here of some of the things that you all have done, so I can make sure that everyone has received just a little bit of the gratitude and the recognition that you so richly deserve;

  1. Two friends who are lawyers, are consulting with my court-appointed lawyer on my case as well as being personally supportive of me.
  2. A bunch of you have donated money to me through paypal so I can purchase the medications that I must have or so I can pay my rent.
  3. Many many people have sent packages, magazines and books, chocolate-covered espresso beans, cookies, chocolates, chewing gum, toiletries and clothes, booklights, tea, make-up, a gorgeous handbag, cards, letters and postcards and even a real trilobite fossil (!) to cheer me up -- on many nights, I have found great comfort sleeping with your cards under my pillow or while hugging a book.
  4. Many people have called me -- long distance and from overseas -- regarding the situation and to cheer me up, even when the meds, my situation and my mood disorder were affecting me such that I was sometimes less than civil.
  5. Several people traveled from very long distances -- Texas and California to be exact -- to visit me. One of my local pet-care clients dutifully ferried to me the mountains of books that filled my post office box, along with an equally large mountain of snailmail and bills.
  6. Many people have written encouraging comments on my blog, and have sent me private email, enquiring about my health such that I always knew you were thinking of me and so I had something to look forward to.

Even though I was desperately, determinedly suicidal for a long, long time, I can truly say without reservation that all of you came together in such a beautiful and remarkable way and all of you have played a role in saving my life. I am going to try my best, with your help, not to let you down.

So if I were to write a novel about this event, which I am thinking about doing, what would it look like? It would look like the story of a person who had lost all faith and hope to the point of death; who had lost all faith and hope in the world, in her career and in herself until she was wishing for death, actively pursuing death, and then suddenly unexpectedly finding that she has one sort of wealth that many people out there do not have, a tremendous number of people who care about her, more than she could have ever imagined. After this experience, I realize that the world is filled with silent heroes; people who are on the verge of doing something great, but who may not yet had the opportunity to do so.

When I went into my most recent downward spiral in my life-long battle with (my formerly secret) bipolar disorder, that was when all of you, my silent heroes, took the opportunity to step forward and made yourselves known to me and to yourselves. I can never repay you for your rapid response, for your kindness nor for your love, except to tell you that all of you played an important and unique role in saving my life. I hope that you never forget that.

When I write my novel, that's what it will be about; all of you, my silent heroes, revealed.


And then what happened?

How the heck did this nuthouse story get started in the first place?


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Grrl, your post moves me to tears. Yes, I am honored to be among your fervent supporters--many of us faceless! And YES, keep choosing life! You have work to do, even though right now it's not work which you've chosen...and which sometimes is hard to is important, and you ARE doing it.
Blessings, and thanks.

Oh, thank you, thank you for this post. This is the best piece of news I've had all week. I'm moved to tears and so grateful to you, for your courage, and your unwillingness to concede the fight. Brave soul!

Oh, me, too. Moved to tears and happy to have been able to bring some light into your darkness, along with all the others who love you. Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: When it is dark enough, we can see the stars. And Oscar Wilde: She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling. The stars are always there - and I'm so glad to have been able to be one for you. I'll keep on helping as long as you need it - I'm honored to do it. Love to you always.

Thank you for this post. Even though I do not know you beyond your bog, have never met you or even corresponded with you personally, your story moved me a great deal nonetheless. The fight you are fighting is among the toughest kind of fight there is - fighting the cruelty of mental disease. I respond to your story in part because it reflects my own in some ways therefor can empathize. I here and understand your loneliness and despair because I have been there myself once. I had family and friends to help pull me up when I needed it. To this day, in some ways, I still do fight it and probably always will have to as will you.

That you wrote this post full of thanks and hope has truly lifted my spirits to know that you are determined to fight this disease and live. I hope to be able to meet you someday so that I can give you a long, warm, affirming embrace.

Keep it up Grrrl!


You deserve it, remember that. I know the job loss thing was a big part of this but don't make the mistake of hanging your whole self-worth on academia. You are such a wonderful person and you've helped so many us, and for some of us this is a chance to give back. The universe is mysterious indeed... maybe once you find a good management strategy and get out, you will find yourself involved in completely different and wonderful things. Sometimes it takes a paradigm shift or major events for us to reconsider our life.
Lastly, your story has been an inspiration for many of us, not just because of you sticking through all this, but also the fact that so many stepped up to the plate and did something. I can't say my faith in humanity has been high recently, which makes this all the more important to witness.
Keep on truckin' grrl. We luv ya.

Hedwig, I'm glad I could help in my own small way. I'm so glad the support you've gotten from everyone has been enough to tide you over to a time when you have more in your life that makes you happy. Because I know that time is coming. I will talk to you again soon if those phones are ever free!

I am very happy to hear that things are looking up for you.

By PhysioProf (not verified) on 03 Dec 2006 #permalink

Like Jeff, I only know you from your b[l]og, but I've still been following your progess (partly for similar reasons). Seeing the evolution of your blog persona (at least!) over the last few weeks has been encouraging.

I'll keep on cheering you on from Finland: as Sara wrote, you deserve it.

P.S. Sorry I don't do the emotional stuff. I'm English, and therefore Offically Reserved.


I've been keeping up with your story, and i'm one of the ones who has written... I'm glad to see things are looking a bit up for you! I've been keeping you close to my thoughts the last few weeks, and i'm glad i could help just even a little bitty bit!

Hedwig, I've read your blog since your old pre-Science Blogs days. I've always thought you were way cool. When you first mentioned hospitalization I guessed the cause, and have felt concern everyday. I'm so happy you are doing better. I know your illness is a tough one - one of my best friends is a psychiatrist who has bipolar disorder and she has taught me a lot about the difficulties of that illness. I'll be thinking about you on Thursday.

It sounds like your novel could be a Frank Capra movie. This one, to be precise. Good luck to you.

Dave W, your link contains no url. If you make a mistake in the syntax - like misspelling 'href', or forgeting the double quotes that surround the url, the scienceblogs software will produce a link with no url. So double-check the syntax, and try again.