Because I haven’t written in some time please allow me to first tell you that I am mentally ill. Probably by most definitions, or at least in the mind of my doctor, I have a pretty severe form of mental illness. While on a normal day, this can lead to all sorts of trouble, random problems that only my mind can come up with, and the continual stress on my family regarding who and what I am going to be on any given day it also creates a rather volatile mix of stress, depression, outbursts of anger, false illusions, voices, and a host of emotions that can change without a real explanation.
I wish I could tell you there is some rainbow at the end of my day, even an upside down rainbow that would at least look interesting. Instead most of my days are filled with such bleakness and darkness that finding any source of light is like finding that needle in its haystack. This is my reality. I live it, I try to learn from it, and I have no choice but to let it affect every aspect of my life.
All of this, in the scheme of things, is my normal and not something that really needs my attention, certainly not extensive time it takes me to write these blogs. But despite my mental illness there is one area in which I am like every other person living: I have very bad days. While we can acknowledge that bad is defined by each of us, the commonality is the bad, not the degree.
In the last six weeks, I have had someone I know only in passing get into my face and my daughter’s space to yell obscenities and cruel lies. (It was bad enough that I am going to be forced to actually write about it soon.) My husband found a perfect house for me and my family so I spent two weeks packing and much longer trying to unpack and find spots for all the junk that I own. My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. My father came to visit and in his normal way managed to re-destroy my view of him. I have had to meet more people in this neighborhood than I have ever wanted and I don’t remember a single one of their names. I haven’t had a comfortable place to write about my demons so they don’t destroy me, an idea that no one but my therapist seems to understand the weight of. And no matter what I do, I can’t find comfort in my own home. I could go on, but really why?
The emotional upheaval has been difficult, but then the physical problems can sometimes seem just as agonizing. My face has literally been taken over by blemishes and zits. I keep losing and gaining weight so quickly that for the first time in awhile no one has actually mentioned the shifts. My hair is falling out in batches, my nails look like I have been tortured, and I haven’t truly had the guts to look into the mirror to see the full extent of what the rest of my body actually looks like. Most people would agree that moving is extremely stressful, but when you add all the other things that are happening, it isn’t a surprise that the outside of my body is just as damaged right now as my insides.
For my therapist the solution was simple; clean my home and find a place to write immediately.
Cleaning my home should have been relatively simple. Despite the fact that I am not completely unpacked I should have been able to clean. Plus it probably would help me to get the rest of the junk out of the way. But I didn’t have cleaning products I thought I could use, no vacuum, and no mop. The dirt that the movers brought into the house, the rain, the kids, and other things contributed to quite the mess. But for some reason that I am going to have to look into I just haven’t been able to bring myself to give this house the cleaning it desperately needs. Obviously there aren’t bugs running around and the dishes are done daily. It’s an overall stamp I simply haven’t been able to punch. And that is a little strange, as normally, I love to clean. I know, right? But I love the feeling of doing something positive and giving my children a place that friends can come to, and a place my husband can relax after a long day.
As for the place to write, that was even tougher. I am weird person. I don’t think it comes from the disease nor my artistic sensibilities, I just think I am weird. There are certain things I have to have in order to write. For one, it has to be the same place day in and day out. Despite the very nice laptop that I have, I can’t jump from one room to another and find a cohesive way to put on paper what I am dealing with. I have to have a place that isn’t loud. I don’t like the television on, I don’t necessarily like my husband to be home (although my kids don’t bother me; probably because I took them to the cleaners the first time they tried). I don’t like harsh light, I prefer the sunlight even on a rainy day. And if I write in the dark the only light I need comes from the screen I am working on. I have to have music that helps me to relax and find the center I need to bleed enough to allow my thoughts to be shared. And I have to be secure in the knowledge that I am not needed. I have to have the ultimate peace, or at least a peace that is as close as you can get with my insane family, children, friends and others who like to interrupt. This is a tall order for any job. This is a really tall order for me just so I can write a couple of words on a piece of the screen and hope that someone reads it.
But writing in the last couple of years has become a vital piece of my existence. By getting those feelings down, by exploring what is bothering me especially when it seems vague and disturbing, by coming to terms with my life through the acknowledgement of this simple blog, I can find peace. I can find the strength to tackle the next problem, the next thing that will go wrong. I can find the ability to let things go by selling my soul for something I haven’t yet defined. I can destroy the destruction. I can hurt the hurting. I can fly in the clean, clear air and come to terms with my own fear of failing. Through writing words that mean little to anyone but my own soul I can find the strength to learn, to live, to get past those hurtles that are so large it amazes me that no one else can see them. Through writing I can find ways to be better than what I truly am.
So I cleaned. So I wrote. I only cleaned at the most basic of levels and this post certainly can’t qualify as my best work, and the truth is, there is no way to know if today either of these things will actually work. But with the load I am carrying, if I don’t try these simple things the world will stop once more. And when my world stops, so does everything I hold dear.
Stay tuned, my world may be slowing but maybe I can find a way to give it a nudge.