I haven’t taken the time to write about my daily struggles with mental illness in a while. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m going through a period of calmness and contentment. Maybe I have finally made the correct adjustments in my life to ease the pain on a more permanent level. I know better than to believe that…it’s always waiting to latch on to anything I wish to feed it. All I have to do is say the word (or think a couple thoughts actually) and I will spiral into some very deep dark emotional places in minutes. With the suicide death of Robin Williams fresh in our minds those of us suffering with depression need no further proof that neither money, success, fame, nor laughter makes this illness go away. We need support (some of us need medication too), but really we need support from not just loved ones…but support from others that understand this illness. We need openness. We need to look into the eyes of someone else that is going through this and give a mutual nod of acknowledgment. We need to give hugs. Not just a friendly ‘hello’ hug but the hug that squeezes the person hurting behind the smile. The kind you hold on a half second longer.
I am very happy to be experiencing a longer period of joy right now, but I’m bipolar. I know, KNOW that it will turn around any day, unexpectedly, and last for any length of time. I know that the plans I make today will not make sense to me after my mind shifts. I know the promises and commitments I’ve made will be very hard to keep. I know some people will see this as being unreliable or untrustworthy. It’s ok…the people that care (most of you reading this) have been there since I started talking about mental health and have given me so much support. I can’t express my gratitude enough for that. Thank you.
If there is anything I’ve learned over the last couple years is that there are so many of us fighting huge battles with depression, anxiety, and suicide…that no one hears about. And that most of us are standing right next to each other. My story is not unique!! I’m not a ‘special’ case that is any more or less than what yours might be. I’m telling it because I once believed I was alone…and then I discovered you.
…and then I discovered peanut butter on a spoon, it’s the little things. jq.