i gotta tell you something. i actually believe this statement, but it is tough sometimes, right? It is so easy to burn energy on fighting “enemies”. It is in quote marks for a reason. Enemies are often the constructs of our own minds.
i’m talking to my crazy friends out there. If it rings true for you, you might need medication. Just kidding…lol. Yup. i just typed lol. i am officially lame. Deal with it.
i have hated a lot of people over the years. People i did not know. They were in traffic, or in the mall, or in the parking lot, or they fell into the “i really do not like you even though i just met you” category. Mostly they were people. You know, Normal people. i do not usually hang with “normal” people. Sorry to my friends who are reading this, but you know it is true. You are not normal either.
And my anger at the medical community is up there, even though i am thankful for the wonderful drugs that keep me stable and so on. But both you and i know the dirty little secrets about mental health care. We know. If you work in the system, don’t start on me, or bad things will happen. Mwahahaha! So don’t even bother.
My whole life i thought i was “normal”. I thought every kid lived the same life as me. I figured most teenagers lived like me. And i figured most people thought like me. Boy. Was i wrong. But i did not know.
And, for most of my life i have dealt with manic and depressive episodes rather casually, i suppose. i thought everyone had similar thoughts and experiences and so it was just something i dealt with, i suppose. In the “high’ times i have done well, and during the “low” times, not so well. But i married, had children, lived my life and things were manageable enough. I figured society and i understood each other.
That was me. Honestly. i had no idea i even had a mental illness. It is the same as a functional alcoholic in some ways i suppose. You know at least one…the hopeless drunk who still make it into work every day, holds down a job and has a family life. Functional.
Then came the car accident and i suppose all my coping mechanisms failed me. I honestly do not know what happened. All of a sudden, i had a mental illness. i was bipolar. i had ptsd. i really did not have a lot of supports other than institutional ones in those early years, and i am grateful for those interventions and support, ok?
i have told you about how wonderful i am. i am a white, privileged, heterosexual male…one of the most privileged members of society. Crucify me. It is what it is. But now i have a label. And i have become a member of an invisible minority. So put down your boards and hammers and listen. Just for a minute.
i am now damaged goods. i am fucked up. Ask the dentist who did not want to pull my tooth when he found out i was bipolar. “You won’t hit me, will you?” Maybe now, asshat.
Do you like those affirming statements? I detest them. i post them sometimes, but, deep down, i detest them. They are the biggest enemies i face.
They try to convince me it is ok to not be “normal”. Anyone who has dealt with racism, or homophobia or any other type of “group hatred” knows they are not “normal”.
The message from society is affirming of course, but it feels like the consolation you get when someone tells you, “there is nothing to worry about”. i have watched enough alien movies to know that means. That is what the guy in the red shirt says. Only trekkies will get the reference. And they are hardly normal, either, by the way.
i do better when i remember i am NOT normal. i need to take my meds. i need to exercise. i need to take time to heal. i need to follow my recovery program.
And if you have a mental illness, you know this struggle and you know it is real. i just want you to know you have a friend here. i know what it is like to feel alone, so if you need to talk, just let me know. I’m new to some of the tech, but we can set something up.
i got really sick because i did not look after myself very well. i could have done better. Ok. So now i do better, and with the support of friends and family, i am trying to be more honest about how i feel and what is going on inside me.
I really do not know if this helps, but there it is.