Personal Thoughts on Mental Illness (NOT a Poem)
For far too long I have hidden behind words through poems or secluded myself and used lyrics in complete darkness to try to understand my pain/euphoria/anxiety/agitation. I have always had a difficult time addressing my own issues directly. Whether it be family, friends or even in groups dealing with similar problems I can talk and give wonderful advice. I am capable of having the biggest heart and being full of compassion. Unfortunately, when it comes to myself I freeze. I internalize everything and just choose not to face my own issues. The pain has haunted me for so long I suppose it has just become a hard habit to break.
I think I have gone down every avenue at this point. Regrettably that covers good and bad. Of course, rinse and repeat. Journaling, therapy, hospitals, friends, family, support groups, internet reading, books, hospitals, suicide attempts, 2 comas, drugs, alcohol, self-harm etc. I think most of us know the drill. It is never easy and I believe you live and learn. Sometimes it takes many times of going through the same things over and repeating the same mistakes just to get it through our thick heads.
Some techniques work better than others of course and again everyone is different. My problem that I guess I have found is that there never has been one perfect solution. It will last for just so long and then I have to find something else. Thus, the writing. My mask if you will. A sense that I can get out hidden emotions even if it may only make sense to myself sometimes.
What I have found though is the writing is never enough. And sadly, there is always something that tags along. I may be able to do therapy for an extended period of time, but there is always something that accompanies that.
Fighting that endless battle to find the solution to constantly cope with this beast that always seems to have a strangle hold is tough. Not exactly fair. I didn’t ask for this, but it is what it is and it is something I have to keep fighting. Am I the most uplifting person in the world? No not always. And certainly, if you read my poetry you wouldn’t be able to tell this at all. But if you sat across from me, you’d see a fighter. Quite often even a big smile. Not one that always wins, but at least I try and get up.
I am absolutely not proud of the times I have drank far too much and made an ass out of myself. Or turned to drugs. Or put family and friends through watching me lie in a hospital bed wondering.
But when I do fight this nonsensical disorder I see others sit back and watch and observe. They even see the slightest bit of change…a little more fight. Hope? Something. When I stay clean for a short time it makes me feel good inside. Others as well?
The cycles NEVER stop. They NEVER will. This is a progressive illness. It’s so hard to talk about as are many things from my past and present, but I truly think how you deal with the cycles and how you cope determine how much power you have over the disorder. No, you never have full control. But I’d rather have a little regulation than what I once did I suppose. I have suffered with this for so long and I look back at where I was back then and where I am now…and there is never a foolproof solution or plan…but I’d rather be where I am today than where I was back then. It takes learning the illness, identifying the symptoms, a support system, and I guess what…acting before you act out? Do I always? No! Will I always? No! But I am more prepared.
As with the cycles, it is another state. And how you choose to deal with it I imagine has to be your own decision. I guess that’s where I am and what I am trying to work on most.