New York, NY, USA

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©2017 BY LINDSAY S. WHEELER. 

My life is the 21st century memoir that has yet to be written. My voice will be heard; that of a transparent, guarded, funny, pissed, determined, lost 27 year old. Pieces Left Behind is my memoir-in-progress.

Excerpts

Pieces Left Behind

"As a 90s kid the popularly-romanticized mental illness trope directly impacted society’s, and consequently my, understanding of mental illness. Alas, my knowledge was confined to what I had observed in Glenn Close, stalker in Fatal Attraction, and a harrowing school shooting in the TV show Degrassi. Obviously, I believed, this was “mental illness”; any experience beyond the parameters of pop culture was not."

"​​While preconceptions detracted from the clarity it would require to know it then, depression, bipolar disorder, disordered eating, anxiety, domestic violence, pain, and schizophrenia all existed, at varying proximity, in my young life."

"I would see that our society allows collective denial and decades of complacency to be an erasure of real human experience. So, I went on, blissfully ignorant and enduring this silent epidemic. I was under the spell of denial; unable to realize that I had severe depression, while convinced that there was no place for these sorts of issues in my small suburban town. It was a combination that would keep me in the dark for many years."

"Depression would become the underbelly of everything to come. My mental illness embedded itself in my feet before I could stand tall; an intrinsic part of who I was, on which every adversity and every victory would rest. My eating disorder, harmful people I had allowed to remain in my life, and ultimately, a need to give myself permission to be happy were bolstered by this diagnosis."

"When I finally spoke, unbridled words erupted from a deeply suppressed place. I began to chronicle my depression day-to-day, week-to-week; from the everyday triumphs of making it from breakfast to dinner without crying to living heavily medicated. I allowed friends and strangers to see my weathered face mid-breakdown, wrote about the therapeutic and yet complicated relationship I have with food, the salvation I had found in owning dogs, and what perpetual sadness feels like."

"Authenticity is contagious; living without reserve is earth-shattering. We can no longer allow social pressures to control us, to prevent us from bringing down walls that reinforce an epidemic of silence. There has never been a time so opportune as this to live from the inside out through an expression of radical self-respect."

"Depression made me frail. I am not superhuman. I couldn’t hold my breath forever and I was running out of time. It consumed me, killed me, gave me life and begged me to nurture it all at once but I was finally ready to call myself a fighter. You know that feeling when you start running so fast you think you’re descending back into toddlerhood, stepping awkwardly and stumbling over your own legs? I sprinted harder away from that disease than I ever thought I could when I finally realized it would kill me. I didn’t look back. And like some kind of miracle, it got better."