I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a folder in my email titled “Warm Fuzzies” where I keep the kind heartfelt words that are sent to me. I have to be careful when I dip into them because they bring me to tears every time.

I generally receive the most emails when I am lost in my own brain. I read over them, file them away and when I’m able, I go back and respond to them.

“…Reading your blog made me feel like I wasn’t the only one. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me tear up.

I minored in English in college, but I was never able to harness my words and wrangle them into the style I wanted. Reading your blog is like reading my own thoughts that I was never able to turn into a worthwhile read…”

Often times I am unable to write much more than “Thank you.” But what I truly wish is that they could *feel* the thank you that is in my heart. The overwhelming gratitude that leaves me staring at my screen in disbelief at all of these tender injured souls who found comfort in something I wrote.

“…’You are not the only one who regrets their children on the bad days.
is burned into my brain.
It is the worst feeling I have ever felt.
It is such the horrible, honest truth.
And I thank you so much for telling me/making me feel like I wasn’t alone…”

I’ve wanted to share parts of these emails for a long time. But I was never sure how to do it without it coming across as a big “LOOK HOW WONDERFUL I AM! *glitter glitter* APPLAUSE HERE” But the truth is I get a lot of emails me asking how I do it.

‘It’ being honesty about my mental illness.

“…Then after I read what you wrote, I realized that we do have a close relationship.  She will be fine as long as I continue to shower her with love, despite the overbearing cloudy days.  Basically, I just wanted you to know that you helped me feel at ease that everything will work out.  So, thank you for your honesty and opening my eyes to your situation…”

I have a hard time responding to questions like that, and then I remember my Warm Fuzzy folder. In it there are currently 66 reasons why I do “it.” Why I am honest about my struggles. 66 people who I have helped. 66 people who were able to find words about their own struggles and emotions because I was honest about mine.

“…Casey, I cannot tell you how much it is helping me to read these words from you.  I have never, not ever, found anyone who was willing to share, explain, put it into words that made sense or even came close to expressing how much it hurts.  And when you talk about this I don’t feel like such a freak show…”

Can anyone do it? Maybe. But there are still a lot of social stigmas around mental illness. Should you do it? If you can, yes. Even if no one ever reads it. There are days when writing is easier than breathing for me. And the first time someone thanks you for helping them feel not so alone? You’ll never forget that. Ever. It doesn’t matter if they’re a friend, a stranger or your mom. Your story can and will help people.

“…The world is a better place because people like you exist in it…So thanks for being you, Casey. Even though we don’t know each other, I look up to you a lot. Your ability to fight back…I hope you know how many of us find this inspiring. I’m rooting for you. We all are…”

I’m beginning to realize that what drives me the most, as well as what drives others who admit to emotional defeats is that we want nothing more than to be well. To be better. Even though I know I will never be healed from this disease, I have hope for those good days.

And hope makes anything possible.

Anything.

**************************

This post is sponsored by Hallmark’s “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign.

Comments

  1. I can promise you that on top of those 66 emails you have gotten, there are hundreds of people who you touched that haven’t reached out to you. Sometimes it’s something that you post here, but for me it was something that you posted on twitter. Just a quick little blurb that made me realize that my feelings were ok. You’ve helped way more people than you will ever know. Thank you for that.

    ClassyFabSarah Reply:

    @tehamy, Exactly what @tehamy said. Exactly.

  2. Oh my goodness I have a similar email folder. This is perfection. And so true, what the commenter above me said!

    Steph

  3. You continue to amaze me. Give Addie and vivi a hug and kiss from me. Love you. Xoxo

  4. You’re adorable that you keep this folder. Every one of those 66 (and counting) emails is true. You’re inspiring to me too, and it was you that me decide to stop writing about the mundane and write what I feel even if sometimes its dark and scary.

    I already told you you’re my favorite once, and now I’m telling you again!

  5. We talked about this once a long time ago and because of you, I started a “warm fuzzies” folder, too. Everyone should do it. Because the low days need warm fuzzies for sure.

  6. Can I just say this is the BEST sponsored post I’ve ever read?

    And amen to what Tehamy said.

  7. My mother was depressed most of my childhood. She laid in bed a lot and missed work. She unreliable about being in my life – some days she took me to school, others she didn’t even get out of bed to make me breakfast. I was 5 or 6 and leaving the house alone on an empty stomach. My hair was always a mess, she never helped me get dressed or shower. I hate her for it – 20 plus years later, I hate her for robbing my childhood. We kids took a backseat to her every single day of our lives. She sucked all of the oxygen and energy out of our lives. It was awful.

    pgoodness Reply:

    @Laura, that is very sad. Have you considered talking to her or someone about this? It seems like you are still very angry. I hope you can find some peace.

    Laura Reply:

    @pgoodness, this is me post-therapy. imagine me without it.

  8. xoxoxoxoxox

  9. I do something similar (that I feel the need to explain so people don’t think I’m just some narcissistic twerp): I favourite tweets that are sent to me that are kind and loving – if I’m feeling lower than a snake’s belt buckle, I read ‘em.

    I love this idea, too.

    Thank you for being so open. You’re probably one of the first writers who made it feel safe for me to be open as well. <3

  10. What a lovely idea!! :)

  11. Just checking… yep, still love you.

  12. Thank you Casey. Your honesty is inspiring. I read your blog every day because you remind me that I am not alone and that I can handle anything. I find peace in your words and I can not tell you how important that is. I wish we knew each other in person, but San Diego is a long way from Indy.

  13. “Writing is easier than breathing”…you betcha.
    you have a wonderful gift Casey. Even for the ones who don’t email you but read the strength in your words thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  14. Casey,
    I lurk daily, but comment rarely. I come back to your blog, over and over, because you are REAL. You are simply sharing the inner thoughts that most people (all people?) have, but rarely say out loud. Thank you for your honesty.
    Sylvia

  15. You know what? I like you. Kind of a lot. Maybe even, well, yes. It’s true. I love you hard in a major way.

  16. I just love this post Casey. I have a similar file in my email called “Blessings”. It’s so nice to know that you’ve made an impact in someone’s life. I hope you keep doing what you do, because I know it benefits countless people.

  17. This is one of those moments where I go, “Did I do that?” Did I send an email? Probably not because I’m super lazy, but seriously, I do know that I’ve thought about it before (but didn’t want to seem stalkerish).

    I actually have a file of emails that get sent to me too. I’ve actually been wanting to write down like in a physical notebook (or maybe in one of those fileshare things where I can read on my phone anywhere I go) and add all the sweet tweets and short comments from readers and friends that brighten my day.