As I do in nearly every post that I write, please allow me to inform you that I am mentally ill. One of my doctors even said I was severely mentally ill but I question what yard stick you would have to use to measure this. Having a mental illness is not fun; there is literally no part of the disease that can be defined as fun. It doesn’t mean that those with mental illness can’t or don’t have fun; it simply means the diseases under this vast umbrella suck. And because mental illness is so insidious and literally worms itself through every aspect of your life, including social, emotional, physical, medical, new and old, it easy to understand the rates of depression and certainly the rates of rage and fear. Mental illness is not something to wish on an enemy nor is it something to put in perspective and justify the damn thing; it is simply a disease with consequences and finish lines that make it nearly impossible to do so many things.
In my life the worst part of this disease isn’t the ups and downs; it isn’t the people who run so fast in the other direction the moment they find out what I have; it isn’t even the difficulties my children face in response to this disease. For me, the worst part is that no matter how I wish it to be differently, there isn’t a soul on this earth who could possibly understand what it is like to live inside of me for one moment. And while many would argue that it is difficult to understand anyone that you haven’t walked in the shoes of, trying to explain the fear of a roller coaster is far different than being on that roller coaster. There isn’t an off button in mental illness. There are good days and bad days that are dressed up to look like normal days, but ultimately it must be understood that for those of us with mental illnesses there is literally no normal anything: days, weeks, moments, even quiet and calm nights.
I would really appreciate it if some incredibly smart person could come up with a way to allow those I love – with the exception of my children – to see and feel what I do on a daily basis. As I truly love these people I don’t wish for them to live in my world for longer than a day, but I do deserve that one day. It would change my love ones. It would change how they see me, how they hear me, how they love me. It would wake them up to the difficulties, the lies, the truths, the disappointments, the reality. It would take away the simple perception of my loved ones and replace it with a darker truth and an understanding of what it takes for one like me to even be here today; it may even make them understand how close to suicide I am each and every day. But it isn’t possible for my love ones to truly understand and truthfully probably will never be possible; but I sit here typing these posts trying to at least share a glimpse of the truth of these diseases.
I saw one of my stats recently about the number of posts that I have written, specifically in my own category of mental illness, and I realized that I have spent a good deal of my time trying to get readers to simply look and understand. Have a topic you don’t know about (regarding mental illness) try the search button on my front page; you will probably see my interpretation of it.
If you search today you will find the somethings. The somethings are like everything else regarding mental illness; easy for me to understand, impossible to describe. They are the things that a person, such as myself, feel that isn’t on the doctor’s chart. It is that thing that isn’t taught in medical school. It isn’t bound by trust, truth, or triumph. It is just something. It is, at its core, a feeling that a person knows is real but everyone else can’t see and therefore can’t believe.
I truly wish I could count the number of people that don’t believe what I am saying on any given day; even the good ones. I wish that I could look at the people who can’t feel my instincts and hit them over the head so they will finally listen. I wish that I could take the people who are not interested in listening to me and yell until I am blue in the face. I would yell. I would yell at the doctors who don’t listen with anything but half an ear. I would yell at those I love the most and try and get them to understand that just because I am mentally ill doesn’t mean I don’t know when something is wrong; in fact, I would argue that I am better at understanding my body and my health than most because I am always stuck with it and the measuring of every second I have to live. I am required to know who and what I am in order to survive in a world that doesn’t care. I would yell at the world, probably with a little begging in there, to simply listen and try to imagine the possibility that I know my body better than any other person on earth.
You see, when you have a disease like a mental illness, there is a certain stigma in the whole process that you can’t truly change. People see those with mental illness as scary or worse deceitful. They see those of us with these diseases as threats. They believe that those of us with these diseases can’t possibly need any more pills or have any more problems. We sort of need to face the fact that a healthy and productive mentally ill patient probably takes a handful of pills; we call these high functioning mentally ill patients but you can simply look up the definition of alcoholism and high functioning and get the same explanation. There are those that see the words mental illness and honestly believe that those patients are making it all up; maybe for attention, maybe because they are lazy and sit on their butts all day, or maybe because it’s a horrible world out there and the patients just want to have a little fun.
But what you won’t find is very many people that actually listen and try to understand those with mental diseases. I wrote a whole book about it.
I know that there is something weird going on in my body. The last time I felt this strongly about something I had an ectopic pregnancy that no one believed I really had. Mostly the comments were your pregnancy is fine, the HCG levels are growing, etc. etc. But I knew that there was something wrong; call it instinct, call it fear, or call it years and years of studying my own mental illness and therefore, my own body for years. I subscribe to the last one; you can choose yours. During the weeks that I kept saying something was wrong no one listened; not the nurses, not the doctors, not even part of my own brain. But I knew, and unfortunately, I was right.
I am not pregnant and there is no baby in my Fallopian tubes. This time there is something wrong in the lower portion of my right side. I will admit to having trouble on my right side prior to this, but it didn’t truly feel like this. Truthfully the problems lies in the fact that there is so much less pain than normal. And that is what is ringing my little bells. I know that I feel spacey, out of touch with what people are saying and doing, and mostly I am fighting something that doesn’t feel comfortable. And just because the world doesn’t believe me, doesn’t mean that I am not right.
I don’t Google possible medical issues. I don’t look up on scientific websites for either my symptoms or the possible diagnosis. And like most things I will let this go rather than try and make anyone answer a question that might not be worth the paper it is written on.
I don’t like that I have no one to go to when I feel like this. I don’t like that I don’t have anyone I can just sit down and wonder if something is real or not (a nice simple conversation). I don’t like that there isn’t a person in my world that isn’t so scared of my little disease and therefore, little old me, that I can sit and simply unload. I have learned that even doctors need certain answers in order to feel they are the hero that day so even those who should know, don’t want to. It is lonely being mentally ill; that is not something that is going to change.
But one day, someone – an angel, is going to cuddle me in his strong arms and allow me to finally rest and I will have that one. I dream of that angel finally allowing me to rest. I dream of the lack of medications and blinding sunshine. I hold onto the dream that somewhere at sometime I will know not a simple peace but a dynamic goodness. I will finally rest and not worry if anyone is listening or not. It is my true dream and I can’t let go of it for all the somethings in the world.