You could describe me as the kind of girl who knows exactly what she wants until the crucial moment of truth in which time I will hang my head in complete indecision. I think that I have always been this way. I make a decision, even feel happiness that the decision was made and this or that is going to happen, and then it all just dies away. The confidence, the need, the want, the steadfastness; gone like the wind. It is the kind of person that I am and it isn’t the kind of thing that one can be proud of.
It is an extremely frustrating and embarrassing characteristic. Imagine being a friend of someone like me; you make plans, everyone is happy and excited, and then at the last minute the one person who came up with the idea doesn’t want to go. It sounds juvenile. It is disrespectful. It explains why friends simply walk away after awhile. I wouldn’t handle someone who acts this way so I certainly can’t get upset when those friends do walk away.
But it despite the fact that I hate the idea of blaming anything so mundane and emotional on a disease, I do in fact have to blame this kind of behavior on my mental illness. Doesn’t make it better, nor does it make it right. But the courage to leave a comfort zone in order to explore something that sounds exciting is really difficult for me.
Lately, I have decided to reunite a group of people I once knew in high school. Sort of a high school reunion but with people that I want to actually see and talk to. I haven’t actually started on the plans; more I have simply put the idea out there on Facebook and am determining if this is something that I want to do. But the more people who are excited about it, the more people who think it is a good idea, the more pressure I feel to make this happen. And I don’t know if I can make this happen.
My husband, the one person who would know, doesn’t believe in this project and he doesn’t believe I can make it happen. He, rightly so, believes that this might be an extreme version of stress that I am willingly putting on my shoulder and eventually I will crumble from it. Maybe I will crumble during the set up or maybe I will crumble when it is all over; but in his mind I will crumble. And he probably isn’t wrong.
When you spend years with the one person who can’t escape your craziness the one thing that you learn is that the one person’s words usually are spot on. Despite the fact that I can logically understand the stress and incredible difficulties I give to this man, the truth doesn’t change. I live in a world of messiness. I live in a world of darkness and fear and the only person who has to deal with it day in and day out is the man that I am married to. He doesn’t have a way out of my ups and downs. And for that reason alone he deserves my respect and my honest contemplation of the fears that he has. He may even occasionally be thinking of me when he makes these comments.
I hate many things in this world. There are many things I don’t understand and I simply can’t figure out. But the back and forth, the indecision is one of those nails on a chalkboard disgusts that I hate. I hate not knowing if what I thought was a good idea is in fact just that. I hate not knowing if I would be better simply sitting in my little world and not taking any chances because it would make those I love have a better life. I don’t know which way to go. It’s like being in a maze but simply taking right turns won’t actually get you out of the predicament you didn’t know you were walking into. It is a literal war between what you hope and what other people know.
These questions, the idea of doing what you want versus doing what others think is best for you is a tug on every bit of the world you live in. And what is worse is I know that if I didn’t have this disease it would be dramatically different. I admit I don’t know what my husband would think of me without this disease and I admit there is no way to find out. But defining oneself by other people’s opinions is exhausting, even when those opinions are probably correct. My husband is probably correct and I am exhausted.
When they diagnose you with these mental illness there is so much that they don’t tell you. There are so many things they don’t explain; things that are sitting on your horizon, will be felt in your next breath, itch the under layers of your skin. When you have a mental illness there is no guidebook as to what you are supposed to do and what voices you are supposed to listen to. There is nothing that will help you to make the decision that will impact your family the least and yet, give you the most happiness.
I don’t know what I am going to do about this reunion. I don’t know how I am going to handle this or if I am simply going to walk away. I know in my heart that my husband is trying to look out for me and I know he is frustrated when I can’t seem to see that. I know that there are always worries about these mental diseases; worries that don’t belong to the patient at all but to those who love the patient. But what I don’t know is how to make the world happy when I can’t see past the truth of this world I live in, and I can’t tell when it is that I will hang my head and hide from what others want me to believe. I don’t know the truth because the truth, even my husband’s, requires of me a knowledge of who and what this world is along with my role in it. And that is a mystery I can’t answer.