“I’m having shock therapy,” I said to her, after I hesitated for a moment to think just what other story I could make up. “And I’m writing about my experience of going through it.”
It was an odd moment, since we were in class, and other people were around us when she asked me the question, “What are you writing your research on?”
I’ve never said to anyone what I have been going through unless I had a need and/or wanted to tell them about ECT. So, in a way, it was a moment of nervousness, and then again, a moment of release. I realized that I can tell others about ECT (and by extension, about bipolar disorder/mental illness) without feeling embarrassed about it. And that I also shouldn’t assume that other people will be shocked by it or don’t want to hear about it. I shouldn’t have to apologize for what’s happened in my life, because it’s what it is.
As for the research, my professor recommended that I write an autoethnography for my qualitative methods assignment (I’ll talk about it some more later). What this is going to mean is that I will have to present my project in front of the entire class at the end of the semester. But now I know that I will be fine when I stand up and say, “I have bipolar disorder and I am going through electroconvulsive therapy.”