I write to make sense of my insanity. I’ve battled assorted illnesses since I was a child. Responses have varied. Some write me off, thinking I’m trying to get attention. Some dismiss me, not wanting the baggage. Some are afraid of me or for me, thinking I’m unpredictable and out of control. A few love me, trying to make sense of my battle, wanting to be there for me. The sad part is their lack of understanding makes me frustrated. It’s hard to feel the love when it’s garbled.
I’m broken. I’m two different people: the relatively sane person who can write and clean house and the insane person who is constantly harangued by voices and distorts truth. When I’m one, I’m one and when I’m the other, the same. I can’t connect the two.What bothers me the most is the judgment, people want to blame me for my own insanity. They look down on me for not being sane all the time, for the struggle. They don’t see the work it takes to be sane. I take medication that makes me sick, the side effects only slightly better than going without. I work with various doctors and a therapist. I’ve got self-talk down (a fascinating duality for when my insane self argues with my sane voice).
My walk with God is central to my life. God has not chosen to heal me. For those who say it’s because I lack faith, maybe you’re right. If God is waiting for insane self to have faith, we have a dilemma. Insane self is locked in hell. Literally. Insane self believes I am in hell and my suffering is my punishment. Those around me vacillate between being demons, to torment me, and living their own lives while I serve my punishment. I cannot have more faith in God to heal me because my world believes that I have already failed God and this torture is what I deserve.
So, what about sane self. Ahh, there it gets interesting. Sane self can quote scripture and believes in the healing power of God. Sane self has hope but as hard as I try, as much medication I take, as many prayers that I utter, sane self is NOT ALWAYS IN CONTROL! Insane self wipes that all out and I’m left in my hell.
God is in control and is with me in my pain. I do believe that. The voices, however, disagree. I was recently summoned to jury duty. I found the whole thing amusing. Did they really want me to hold someone’s life in my hand with psychotic voices determining the outcome? Nope. I was excused. It brought home the fact that I can’t count on sanity. There is no rhyme or reason. For all of my attempts to move past, I’m still trapped by psychosis. My faith undermined.
So why am I writing this? Because I want people to realize how HARD it is to battle mental illness. It is not a lack of willpower. We are not weak. I don’t have the luxury of just enjoying life. I am not lazy. I am FIERCE. I am a fighter. I’m not giving up. There may be people who want to pass judgment upon me and, if so, that’s on you. There is nothing you could come up with that my psychotic mind hasn’t already perfected! So, my fellow warriors, keep fighting. If people don’t understand, they don’t understand. If people don’t see your strength in the midst of the struggle, they are the blind. If people can’t love ALL of you, let them go. Hold your head up high and see your worth. Hang in there with me. Let’s keep fighting together. Let’s not give up together. Don’t let insanity win!