If someone asked me what I've learned since my diagnosis last year, I would have to say a large part of it is empathy. I can understand all too well the pain that drives people over the edge, even a sudden intensifying of random thoughts that leads one to say "I've got to get out of here" and go looking for something to numb or at least take the edge off the agony.
I still struggle with understanding the details of the illness: what parts of my thinking are normal (for me personally, sans illness), which habits and attitudes can be changed with or without tremendous blood, sweat and tears...
I understand so much more than I did last year, or the years before that. I find it easier to be around others than I did last November. I constantly worried that my unraveling would be so obvious to everyone... now I know that loving feedback from others can be helpful as it doesn't pass through the distorted lenses I see myself with.
I'm particularly grateful for a husband who sees all my highs and lows and loves me anyway.