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Megan Swanson

As a small child, I began to cocoon myself in rigidity, discipline, and effort. It was a way of bracing against abuse, domestic violence and fallout from addiction.

Around 16 years of age, reality hit that I too was out of control, in all of my attempts to maintain it. I was diagnosed with and hospitalized for Major Depressive Disorder and Anorexia (later Bulimia Nervosa… Yes, an addiction of the privileged; starving people in the world were repeatedly brought to my attention.).

Here’s a direct hit <excerpts from “Fly B*tch Fly” – 1997 Poem blog post (link in bio) @meganchinswanson>:

“Mama I have failed you, I am disgustingly bloated. Everything I ate, came up and floated. Then I had more, unable to stop. It’s very unpleasant, but it will not drop.”


“To the depths of the oceans,

Past all of the booze,

When we stop living his life,

And live as we choose.

Past the cheats and the lies,

When the evil in us dies.

Past the binges and the purges,

We see the glossed over urges.

Past the cocaine and the weed,

Lies the deep-seated need.”

My experience of mental illness has been a gift. As sh*tty as it has felt and continues to feel at times, it has truly brought to life the necessity of connection. It has shown me humanity —our fundamental sameness in desire to love and be loved. I write to normalize suffering, normalize sharing the many facets of the human experience, to offer connection when people think that they’re alone.

My dream is for the “mentally ill” to be seen less as overly sensitive, maladjusted, unable to cut it, misfits… and more as hurting human beings; potentially more open to diversity, ripe for emotional attunement and considerate of the adversities and brilliance of us all. My dream is for health to be health, the distinction of ‘mental’ made only to add to understanding, to more effectively offer treatment and support. My dream is for our personal health to be seen as a microcosm of the broader sense of health in our relationships, institutions, and in the norms we embrace. My dream is that we remember the pulse of life, feel it within and give ourselves permission to follow it.

 (My current diagnoses are numerous and better stated as, “One who knows the expression of Truth through her and is now unable to settle for less than Truth, without disease manifesting in some unmistakable, un-overlook-able fashion.)