Mooshinindy.com had a great post up this morning that talks about enjoying the good periods when you’re mentally ill. One paragraph struck me in particular:
I am drinking in this phase of my life in furious gulps, hoping that by wholly immersing myself in it I’ll be strong enough to weather the storms when they come back, because they always come back. I’ve finally stopped living in fear of this phase ending, rather I have been squeezing every drop of beauty from every day until my hands are numb and weary.
When I first learned that I was mentally ill, I was excited. It sounds perverse, but I was actually happy, because there was finally a name for what I was and why I couldn’t seem to be like other people. But I think that with the name came an expectation–on my part and on the part of others–that I could be “fixed.” If there is a name, then there is a cure. But that’s simply not true. There is help, but I will never be “normal.” There is help, but I will continue to go through “downswings.” There is help, but I need to ask for it. And I need to know when I need to ask for it.
So often, I haven’t known. Because I’ve been in denial. Because the voice of if you just tried harder can be so insistent that it blocks everything else out. Because it’s always easier for everyone else if you’re not sick, and who wants to be a burden?
I need to learn how to listen to myself, and holy fuck, is that ever harder than it seems.