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September 05, 2012 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-05

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2B Wednesday September 5 2012 The Statement

Wednesday September 5, 2012 The Statement 7B

PERNAL STATEMENby Kaitlin Williams

letter from the editors
by dylan cinti and jennifer xu
Welcome back, Wolverines! Thank you for choosing Michigan.
More importantly, thank you for picking up this magazine.
Our mission is simple: find good stories and tell them well. It's notan
especially original mission. Indeed, Mark Twain wrote that it was his
love of "a good story well told" that led him to write in the first place.
Unlike Mr. Twain, we're not writing for posterity. We're writing
for right now. Journalism these days happens with an urgency that's
as daunting as it is exciting. We're inundated with so many different
sources of stimuli, and all of them have some piece of news to convey.
To say the world moves faster than when Mr. Twain wrote is a mas-
sive understatement. But still, the same principle holds: you can't go
wrong with a good story well told.
For us, what makes a good story is the telling. And the key to telling
a good story is to ground it in the human.
For instance, which of the following stories would you rather read:
a report about how human eggs are cryogenically frozen, hermetically
sealed in liquid nitrogen and injected into prospective mothers' uteri;
or a story about Julie and Bill, a couple whose 13-year quest to conceive
a child led them to an eggstored away in a freezer for years?
We're thinking you would choose Julie and Bill.
As it happens, our feature piece this week is about both stories. It's
equal parts science and people, technological advances and human
experience. But the pulse of the story lies in its subjects - in parent-
hopefuls like Julie and Bill, egg donors like LSA student Lisa, and dona-
tion coordinators like Mitzi. You'll meet all these people when you flip
to the center of the magazine.
This semester, we're also bringing back the Personal Statement.
This week, Kaitlin Williams shares a candid story about struggling
with mental illness. We welcome Personal Statement submissions
from anybody affiliated with the University. Please e-mail thestate-
mentmag@gmail.com for more details.
Here at The Statement, we're always on the lookout for good stories.
That is to say, we're always listening to people and hearing what they
have to say. Come listen with us.
Come to one of our mass meetings
'Sunday, Sept. 9
'Wednesday, Sept. 12
'Thursday, Sept. 13
'Wednesday, Sept. 19
'Sunday Sept. 23
All meetings at 7:30 p.m.
Student Publications Building - 420 Maynard St.

random student interview
by kaitlin williams / illustrations by megan mulholland

Welcome to the Random Student
Interview, where we travel to a
mythicalplace called Hypotheti-
cal Land. Here, the sun is always
sunny and everybody's stepdad
is from Hawaii.
So, I don't want to ask all the
boring questions you're going to
get from everybody like Where
areyoulising? What'syouraem-
ber?Cal/memaybe? What did
you do this summer? Ijust want
to go straight to Hypothetical
Land because that's fun. What do
you wish you would've done this
Well, I wish I would've studied
Where would you like to study
Whereabouts in Spain?
Have you been overseas at all?
Yeah. I've been to France and Italy.
So why Barcelona? Is it because
it sounds so beautiful to say it
with that lisp? Bar-tha-lo-na?
Yeah? Really? I was kidding.
No. I just really like the sun.
We've got the sun here! So do
you think the sun is particularly
wonderfl in Barcelona?
Yeah. I've heard.

So, where's your favorite place
to vacation?
Hawaii. My stepdad is from Hawaii
so we go over there alot.
Oh, I'mjealous! Way to go,
Abbey's mom!
Oh, I know!
She married that guy to make
her kids happy. What if she
would've married some guy from
That would've been not so good.
OK, confident. What would you
do to prepare for a trip to Spain?
I don't know.
Come on, we're in Hypothetical
Land! Dream a little! Would you
like to rough it? Like one back-
pack, you against the world?
No. Probably not.
Would you get homesick?
Just Hawaii-sick?
Yeah, Hawaii-sick.
So, speaking of travel, you know
that the game last weekend was
in Dallas?
Would you have gone if you had
the chance?
Doyou knowabout Isaac?
Do you think Isaac isjust some
guy I'm talking about?
No. It's a hurricane!

Yeah, it's a hurricane. And it's
kind ofgoing that direction...
still want to go?
I would go. Probably.
How brave. I mean stupid. I
mean brave?
I think people are pretty deter-
mined fans, so they're still going
to go.
So, what was the song of your
Oh, I don't know. I feel like "Call
Me Maybe" was playing all the
But was that against your will?
Kind of against my will
Yeah. What song did you actually
like bask?
I don't know.
You don't have a convertible to
bop around in? Your stepdad
from Hawaii isn't rich?
No. (laughs)
Let's talk summer fashion trends.
Did you like the colored pants?
I like the colored pants, butI don't
own any colored pants.
Any other trends you follow?
I like the high-waisted shorts.
ored high-waisted shortsin Hypo-
And we'lwin.AAnything'spossible.
-Abbey is an LSA sophomore.

Istruggle with mental illness.
I was afraid to write that. Writing it down tually I didn't believe her. I nearly floated
makes it more real. to the PES.
I've talked about it for months. In therapy, My first visit was disappointing. I waited
through tears. I've lied about it too. With for hours, I gave my personal information
family, friends. I lied because I didn't think and bodily fluids until, anticlimactically, I
anybody would understand. was given a dose of anti-anxiety medication
The mind is a most misunderstood thing. and sent home.
Months of trial and error with therapy and The medication increased my detached
medication proved thatto me. feelings, but at least it made me sleepy. I
Through it all, I've grappled with regrets. went home and napped for a few hours,
I could've done this ... I should've done that... and when I woke up, I went to a party.
The best thinglIve learned fromtherapy is to At that party; I drank. The thought that I
banish these words. When there is no I can, shouldn't be drinking on the medication
there is onlyI will try. didn't cross my mind. A few drinks later
and I was standing in front of a mirror
Last February, I admitted myself to the with my thoughts racing until one emerged
Psychiatric Emergency Service at the Uni- clearly: Wouldn't it befunny if I didn't wake
versity Hospital. up tomorrow?
Insomnia, nightmares and sleep paraly- But I did wake up the next morning, in a
sis had plagued me for more than a year. state of disarray. I was so disarrayed that I
The worst nightmares started with me abruptly left a lunch with my family, leaving
waking up in my bed, everything lifelike, them worried.
and ended with somebody harming me. I I wish I could say that's when I turned
didn't know when I was in real danger or it all around, told my family everything
dreamland danger. My best friend had to and admitted I was afraid. Instead, I went
routinely remind me of the real. But even- back to my apartment and spent days in

bed. -
But for all the lows, there were high For too long, I wanted my problems to be
points too. Some days I would ride a wave mine alone. I thought getting help meant
to intellectual and creative peaks. But failure. When antidepressants and slep
then, crestfallen, I'd go down the barrel aids made everything worse, I wrote off
again. all medication. Even when medication had
I haven't always felt this way. The emo- nie stable after my hospitalization, I took
tions I've experienced lately aren't normal, myself off it "just to see" if I was okay on
and they aren't me. It's like a blackout. my own.
Last April, I came back into focus at the I wasn't.
Psych ER. I could beat myself up over these mis-
It was my fifth visit, and the staff admit- takes, but instead I'm trying to be my own
ted me to a psych ward out of town. I was best friend. I used to think mental illness
assessed to be a suicide risk. It wasn't that I wasn't as legitimate as physical illness, but
actively wanted to die; it'sjust thatlivinghad I've learned the impact is the same. There's
become too difficult. nothing weak about asking for help. There's
I was involuntarily committed for two nothing strong about suffering alone.
days. I stayed three more because I knew I Unlike the other works I've written,'l
needed to. can't write this from an outside perspective.
My parents drove hours to attend therapy Truthfully, I'm afraid last year will repeat
sessions with me. Friends and family called itself again. But this time I'm prepared. Iwill
every day to tell me how much I meant to try mybest.
them. Even the University was understand-
ing, sending a representative to the hospital Kaitlin Williams is an LSA senior and a deputy
to help me deal with the classes I'd missed. magazine editorfor The Michigan Daily.
I was not alone.

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