Sunday, April 6, 2014

Slightly Mad

So I'm going to talk a little about mental illness. I'm not really sure why. A little because I just need to, and a little because no one else does. Also maybe a little because I'm crazy and I don't need a reason, so there.

This is something that really happens, I guarantee you know a few people who deal with these problems. In fact, if you're reading this, I could probably name them for you. They put up a brave front, on any given day, you'd probably never know. Depression, social anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis. Behind the scenes, some of your friends are struggling every day with demons I hope you never face.

No one talks about it. It's a taboo subject, no one wants to look it in the eye, to admit that it happens, even when they're the ones suffering through it. Well, I'm talking.

From one day, one hour, to the next, I never know how I'm going to be feeling. Most of the time I act the part of the stable productive member of society fairly convincingly, but I'm sure the more time you spend around me, the more the mask starts to slip. I know every now and then my closest friends will ask "are you alright?" I always tell them I'm fine, or there's nothing in particular wrong. One of my favorite expressions, "It's been a day." Not a good day, not a bad day, just a day.

The answer is no, I'm very rarely alright, but I manage.

Sometimes my mind goes away a little, and what I really want is to spend an hour watching how leaves move in the wind, or watching water drip off a roof. It took a lot of work today to make it to my job on time and not get sidetracked watching the rain. Sometimes when that happens I even do things without really knowing why I did them. Sometimes I wander a circle around the house and then go sit back down and do nothing again. I know I'm doing it, I just don't really know why.

Sometimes I can't handle people, loud noises, enclosed spaces. Sometimes I have to escape. I don't know what I'm escaping, I just have to go somewhere for a while. Some people have midnight snacks, I have midnight walks until I don't know where I am and have to figure out which way home is.

Sometimes people is what I need. Sometimes a gathering of friends is the only thing that drowns out all the noise in my head. It's crowded in here. Sometimes I throw myself into the conversation, usually with some dumb joke or another. Sometimes, I just listen.

Sometimes every bad things that ever happened, every mistake I ever made, everything bad that ever could happen, and especially the things that are inevitable, come and demand I pay attention to them all at the same time, until all I can manage is to sit and stare at the computer and pretend I'm not falling apart.

Sometimes I just want someone to ask if I'm okay, and not take yes for an answer.

Other times I go two days without sleep and write nonsense about how I'm feeling at seven o'clock in the morning.

I live for the good days. There are good days. Sometimes it's just good hours, but when it's good it's very good. Worth it even. I guess that's what it's all about.

 The point. Yes, I had a point when I started this. The point is, it's frustrating, even frightening, when your own mind is the enemy. When you're problems are work, or family, or bills, you have something external to struggle against. Being betrayed by your physical health is a lot harder to live with. But what do you do when you're so depressed you can't even gather up the will to want to get better?

To those who have to live with us. I want you to know it's not your fault. But it's not our fault either, so on the bad days, please be patient. I want to thank those of you who stand by one of us when you could walk away.

To all you other crazy people. I want you to you know you're not alone. I want you to know it's okay to talk about it, and it's okay to ask when you need help. I am going to post this publicly, because the stigma needs to stop, and I'm okay with standing up to speak in front of the crowd if it helps someone else speak in front of those closest to them.

Good luck,
And may you find what you seek.


  1. Maybe this is what it is to be human, to exist. Every one is a product of the same universe and we all think the same , some handle it differently than others. Or maybe not. I just try to find what I can live with and wish my fellow humans well on their own existence. I do know that nature will do what it can only do, be what it is.