I don’t know what triggers me anymore.
Oh, nothing, really. I’m just anxious.
Working my ass off to simply go check the mail.
Frustrated. (Yes, let’s list that one again.)
I’m in everyone’s way, all of the time.
No one likes a complainer, including me. I don’t like me.
I’m extremely sad and worried and anxious, over things that usually make me happy; then I’m so very frustrated and angry. Then the struggle eventually comes to a close and I can finally feel appropriately happy.
Then the cycle begins again. Sometimes it only lasts for a matter of hours and other times it can last for months.
So, this is what mental illness is like? I don’t want it. Someone give me a refund.
Refund all of my stolen days of happiness and calm. Refund the revolutionary road trip with the tours and activities I slept through. Refund those days to anyone who’s given their own time to worry about me. They don’t deserve to have paid for my problem. It’s my problem, so I should just deal.
But then again, there’s the fact that I can’t deal.
Mental illness is just as impactful as physical illness.
I can do this.
I can get out of bed. I can do the cleaning. I can teach. I can go to lectures. I can speak to a room of doctors and medical professionals. I’ll be doing it again in two weeks’ time. I’m not in hospital or hospice.
But some of the people I care about are in hospital or hospice. And, without depression and sadness, they shrug off the anxiety of wondering whether or not they’ll wake up again after the nap that’s become necessary following a day in bed.
I can physically do so much mentally, I’m fragile and feeble in exact comparison.
I don’t mean to say that I’m suddenly not physically disabled. I am. Disabled, I mean. I still have difficulty managing my spastic tone, hemiparesis, vision loss, anomic aphasia, and all that other good stuff.
I know it’s not a choice. Just like those same people, my friends and colleagues, didn’t ask for a degenerative and/or incurable disease, I didn’t ask for my incurable mental illness.
Today, I’ll work out again, despite being exhausted from last night’s adventures with my niece and nephew.
Today, I’ll struggle and become overwhelmed, but I’ll silently recite numbers and facts, and then I’ll be fine.
I’ll respond to messages, work on paintings, and likely go into another days-long cleaning frenzy – but I’ll find a way to control my energy output and maximize it to sustainability.
And if it doesn’t work today, I’ll try again tomorrow.
So, there it is. That’s where I’ve been during these months of silence. I’m sorry. I want to be consistent about my communication – I intend to be, but… you know.
If someone tells you that they’re depressed or anxious, don’t tell them to respond or manage it in a certain, cheerfully positive way. That may not be possible for them, and the suggestion that something so complex could be fixed so easily… don’t you think, if that were so, it wouldn’t be an issue?
Just be there, the way you would if it were something physical, whether it’s a long-term diagnosis or a result of a temporary matter. Just be there.