Recently I have been informed by a classmate that another classmate of mine has died. I ran into the later classmate about 10 years ago while he/she was working at a local coffee shop. Later I contributed to an account/fund to help him/her get through what appeared to be a rough patch due to illness.
When addressing my high school classmates last week I suggested that this person might have been suffering from illness including depression or addiction. Come to find out he/she did have a history of addiction. And that was made known at his/her memorial service.
While I was supposing about my classmate, I wrote a personal account of my struggles with bipolar illness so as to take the secrecy out of anything this other person might have been suffering. It has been somewhat to very destabilizing for me to share this story with classmates for the first time in about 40 years. It has also been destabilizing to realize I was wrong for sharing/supposing private information about this classmate even if it was well-intended.
In any case, I know now it was wrong to try to identify depression or addiction on my classmate’s part. The story was not mine to share. And even if I did mostly tell my story it was wrong of me to link that disclosure to his/her memory.
All in all, I feel like I f*&^%#ed up badly even though my intent was to take away stigma associated with behavioral health including addiction issues and other health concerns.
8 thoughts on “I have made a mistake”
It’s hard when we feel like our good intentions go astray. I don’t know the exact details of the speech, but I don’t think you need to beat yourself up about it. The intentions were good, and to be blunt, they’re beyond harm now. I hope you’re able to let the negative judgement ease a bit.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thank you so much for your words of support. I feel I have gotten somewhat used to writing without filters in the blogosphere. The non mental health world does not seem to tolerate being so honest. I will work on not beating myself up. Thanks again.
Michelle gave you good advice.
I think it’s very natural when someone dies to try to make sense of what happened, and it seems like that’s what you were doing. Maybe it’s actually a good thing for people to be aware that this classmate struggled.
LikeLiked by 3 people
Maybe too many rainbows and unicorns are part of the problem….. Reminds me a little of your post on toxic positivity…..
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree it is important to let people know she/he struggled, but some people are so intent on unicorns and rainbows that when you/I do treat a subject candidly you/I feel like a martian from another planet….. That is kind of how I feel today….. A little too self-referential I know….
The truth is the truth. I agree with the other commenters – doesn’t sound like you have done anything wrong. Maybe you have even helped someone who was listening.