I received a e-mail today answering one I sent in 1998.
As you may know, my current stay at Bedlam by the Schuylkill is not my
first hospitalization for psychiatric reasons. In fact, it's my ninth.
Two of the prior stays were at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, the
nation's first private mental hospital. (Fun fact: Its original name was
"The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the use of their
Well, 1998 was one of my stays at Friends. Before I was discharged, I
collected e-mail addresses from several of the other patients, in order
to keep in touch with them. This seldom happens, because I rarely get a
reply to my e-mails.
Today I got one from Leslie, who said that today she came across the
e-mail I sent her in 1998. She wrote that she felt inspired to write me
and see how I was doing.
She said she'll never forget what a good friend I was to her while we
were at Friends, that I made a difference in her "(no longer quite so)
crazy (no longer a) teenager's life," and that I was "one of those
all-too-rare true friends who understood how difficult it is to face the
challenges we faced." And she thanked me.
I guess it really is true: you never know what impact you can have on
other people's lives.
I wish I remembered more about her than that she is (was?) a Smashing
I'm going to write her back anyway, to let her know how much I
appreciated her e-mail.
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