Erin Napier is opening up about her mental health struggles.
“This time of year, I feel the anniversary of illness so acutely. These hospital photos were taken in 2014, at the end of my 10 year illness from (unknowingly) a perforated appendix,” she wrote.
“My appendix has been gone along with the physical suffering for eight years now, but I’ve been learning through conversation with my friend who is a therapist that it left some deep ruts in my neuro pathways that have left me with an extreme fear and preoccupation with sickness, nausea in particular, ever since,” Napier continued.
“My brain, without my permission, sets off on a fight or flight mission to save my life, when my life is not in any danger at all,” she said. “Panic attacks and spiralling thoughts come rushing in. I’m relieved at least to have connected all these dots in recent months, brought to the surface by the constant upheaval and dread that came with living in a pandemic.”
She added, “This is something you don’t know about me, but I don’t mind if you do. It’s not bad or good, it’s just part of my weird brain and I’m trying to untangle it every day, even as you may see happy news and posts from me. That’s everyone though, isn’t it? We’ve all got our personal struggles. But isn’t it so nice to have this place for editing the hard parts out? Like seeing the people you love most gathered around your hospital bed, there’s always a light in the darkness.”
Napier received support in the comments of the post from friends and followers, including Drew Barrymore, who wrote, “I love you @erinapier and THIS DOES HELP TO KNOW and I believe we are lucky to have a window into you that will also help others!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing. Ps rely on us right back. Everyone loves you!!!!”