There is no official date of purchase – but living with mental illness can sometimes feel like owning two houses.
The Show Home has white carpets, mirrored tables, white couches, perfectly placed pillows, and freshly polished floors. This is my "Show Home." The one I hope everyone sees (imagine Mary Poppins's "perfectly perfect" meets Million Dollar Beach House)
The Fixer Upper the "actually me" - imagine a sink that won't stop leaking, flickering lights and a broken vacuum.
I had acquired those two houses in different cities, so no one could see that I was running two properties.
Eventually, I couldn't run both, and the Fixer-Upper would become my full-time residence. I can tell you that you can't find your mental health in the Show Home – and that millions worldwide are trying to keep up with both.
In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness. (Canadian Mental Health Association)
If you feel you are trying to keep up the "Show Home" and need help with the "Fixer Upper," you are never alone.
You don't need to extend the show home hours. Instead, show more people that you are perfectly imperfect – human - it's where healing starts.
I still want to show off the Show Home many times. However, I have realized that mental and physical health lies in the beautiful Fixer-Upper - a wonderful, dynamic, ever-changing and strong work in progress.
You are never alone.