I haven’t been writing. Something in me, some piece of me has become so immersed in this mental illness that I have that simply learning to walk much less learning how to run has become a holy grail that doesn’t exist. Anyone with these diseases knows instinctively that they are agonizing and often a lonely, cruel, destruction that leaves us trying to not only find our way but how to live with our own selves on that journey.
I have hated myself long before I was ever given a real reason to do so. I have never liked my shape, my confusion, my surroundings, my complete and total need to be something that I can’t ever be. Long before I started taking the numerous medications I do for the numerous diseases, conditions and problems that some great universe has decided that I needed to suffer, I hated the very life that this same great universe decided was mine. I hate the person that I am, the person I once was, and the person that I will wake up to tomorrow.
I suppose an argument could be made that it is the diseases that cause this hate to manifest itself deep in my mind but I think rather that a burden was placed on me long ago and it is that burden that has slowly and surely destroyed that which others celebrate. If I was a therapist I would dive into my childhood and try and figure out where this started. If I was a doctor I would probably just give me more pills. If I was a person on the street staring at me I would probably just roll my eyes, move to the other side of the road, and walk quickly away.
The hardest part of hating oneself isn’t the nightmares or the disappointments, those are to be expected, but rather the knowledge that those who profess to love me don’t know what it is that I know, what it is I feel, what it is that I hate. No matter how close a friend, a lover, a parent is to my soul they can’t and don’t know what life is like through the very lens of hatred that I constantly look at the world through. I sometimes imagine, when those same people so helpfully tell me to ‘deal with it’, what it would feel like to finally, finally allow the darkness to coat my soul and give me the final relief that I am praying is waiting for me.
I admit to being tired. I admit to being done with the whole world. I freely admit that I don’t know how to survive in the world that I live in, and I freely admit the only refuge that I have is to try and hide as much of my soul as I can. When I look into the eyes of those that I love I work diligently to hide not only my pain but any hint of the tears that tend to drown my soul but never the lungs that are allowing them to breathe. When I navigate through the pain I don’t allow anyone to see the battle that I lose everyday. And no amount of sunshine, crowds, parties, shopping, a beloved child’s smile is going to change the fact that there isn’t a pill on this earth that will change any of pure disappointments that keep me from existing in a world that I can only dream of. There is a world of disillusionment that creates a disconnect from my own understanding and those who love to tell themselves that they know me and who I am.
I try to imagine a way to be better. But each time it backfires in a way that destroys another piece of me. I try to imagine a way to be happier and all I end up with is another handful of ashes that come without a label to tell me what piece has now broken forever. I try to be the wife my husband wants, the daughter my parents dream of, or at least a mother that my children deserve but the sad truth is that no matter how many times I get on my knees no one shows me how to do it. No where is there a manual for how to be better or be happier or be the person that those I love so desperately want me to be. So the pain of reality, the pain of never living up to what they all wanted becomes another layer of disappointment that peels away the hatred that is right there for all to see; well, if they want to see it.
To be honest, and I believe that all my writings should be honest, I have learned to play the fiddle these last many years. I have learned how to redirect the attention away from what others might see within me and give them the show that they were hoping would show up. I can do this with my therapist, which really defeats the whole purpose. I can do this with my parents, which is simply depressing. I can even fool my children and my husband and create the exact reaction I want from them. I can play the part so that no one knows what is really happening, and I can play it so that not only do those I know have no real notion that I am playing but can even turn it so that they believe they are the answer to this disease, to this pain, to the very real knowledge that if there is an opening to end it all, I will take it. I can make others feel as if they deserve that pat on the back everyone wants so desperately to brag about.
But I can’t give myself a pat on the back. It is literally impossible for me to feel good or worthy, or even that all so desirable loved; but I can live in a world of levels of disappointment. I can live in a world of darkness and hollowness and even find my feet in a world of pain. I can do this because I have the knowledge from vast wealth of days and months. Those days and months have taught me how to be hollow on the inside and happy on the outside. Those days and months have taught me how to be crying, upset, cursing from the reality of my life, yet make those who love me believe I am nothing but exactly what they need to see.
Isn’t the true gift of the season not wrapped in pretty paper but rather the gift of unburdening those that we love. Isn’t the true purpose of this life to give others a sense of beauty and happiness despite whatever it is that we may feel. Isn’t the true purpose of each piece of the pieces that are scattered around, to hastily glue them together in order to give the small bits of peace that those who surround us have been begging for since the moment we took our first breath? Are’t we supposed to give the world surcease so that they can live in a far better place than any we will ever know?
I have dreamed of the end of this pain. I have dreamed of finding that one place where my very breath isn’t dragged out of me by the very gravity that causes my blood to flow. I have pictured that safe haven, that place that I can finally lay my head down upon. And despite the very vivid knowledge of what those places look like, smell like, feel like, I know that they really don’t exist. I am on my own, hiding. Hiding within your sight.