Living with Mental Illness: Better Doesn’t Mean Cured
Sometimes, I feel that I don’t know what’s going on or that I don’t care about anything. I am confused by my feelings, because I’m not able to explain how I feel, except for the emptiness, and I feel that no one is really there for me, even if they are, or that nobody understands me anymore. It feels like I have nothing to look forward to.
I’m a compulsive liar, but I don’t understand why I do it. I create intriguing stories about myself, to the point that I can’t even tell who I really am anymore. I lie to feel better about myself. Maybe, once I realize I’m a spectacular person just the way I am, I will stick with the truth. I also try to respect people, including myself, who maybe don’t deserve it. This does not reflect the other person’s character but reflects mine, and I miss the mark, sometimes, out of frustration, questioning why “it’s always me” who tries to be right. I feel that other people are wrong at times, but at the end of the day, respect is better than lowering myself, even the tiniest bit. I’m better than that.
I just woke up from another nap, and I write down my scattered thoughts about emotional pain, while in a state of complete confusion because of the disorder currently in my life. Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most, though it might—just might—return even if only for a second. I believe I have lost the battle with my own mind, but I still carry on feeling completely alone in the enterprise, which is where I want to be.
I want to be alone. It is the closest thing I can think of to pressing the pause button on life, especially in the relationships I have with other people. I am a bad person to my wife. My biggest fear has always been that eventually she will see me the way I see myself. I can’t stop thinking that I’m saying good-bye to my own sanity. I believe I have lost this war, perhaps a long time ago. My mind has always been a dark place and not somewhere I would want my worst enemy to be, but despite all of these feelings, I still battle depression and man, am I tired.
I want to feel like me again because, for a long time now, I have felt like someone else. The old me disappears as I fall deeper and deeper into oblivion. I need to be alone without any more external drama or chaos. I do not know how to deal with this feeling, except through anger, disdain, or withdrawing completely. When I can, I try to keep up with my art because it has saved me.
For my own good and the good of others around me, I believe I need to be alone but not to be lonely, only to find some enjoyment or interests in my free time, which let me be myself. Otherwise, I serve no purpose and certainly no positive purpose. I don’t think I was ever meant to be or have ever served any purpose, except to communicate through my art, mainly my writing, to share these feelings for those who cannot. I have nothing else to lose. Sometimes, I feel the stress of everything in the world trying to claw into my mind, all at once and constantly, and I need something to help push me through life. Something like writing, or maybe music, or at times, just sleeping and not participating.
I have miserable feelings inside me that I can’t seem to control, though sometimes it feels like I can. Continuously, I fail and I hurt people, causing other’s anguish, wretchedness, hatred, and more. I feel that I cause the same in myself, and so, I stand back. I no longer interact with people due to this bizarre conflict that I do not know how to handle. I continue to fight for my wife and stepchildren and my many pets but not for myself, because in reality, giving up is just not an option. It never has been. So far, though, I have lost this fight. I walk away from day-to-day life because I want peace, but day-to-day life, and my past, keep following me.
I try not to argue with the people in my life, and I still hope for something. I just don’t know what I’m hoping for—maybe peace of mind and no more distress or conflict. If I do pull through the chaos, it will be because I had to be my own hero, once again. It has to be that way because no one else can destroy me, when I destroy myself, or rather the schizophrenia destroys me. Please just save me. Fix me. I have fought this battle more than once, and I have still not won. It creeps up on me and terrifies me to pieces.
That’s enough for now. I am being as honest as I can possibly be. Love me, hate me, hurt me, or kill me; I will still keep going. I’m still here, but entirely confused about how to relate to other, real people. I am a mental health problem, not a person. I am schizophrenia. I am no longer a person, not anymore. I sit back and watch the world go on around me, and I am a failure. The only place where my dreams become impossibilities is in my own mind. I can’t see what is actually possible, even when that something is better than the hand of cards I have been dealt. The war against my own mind exists on a continuous loop and that is why I keep fighting, even if nobody is aware of it. I have been absent from the external world and lost within my broken mind. This is called depression, schizophrenia, or so many other names. I call it war. I will leave it at that for now because I know this will barely make sense to other people, though I could be wrong. I can’t give up, and I won’t give up. Considering I’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, diabetes, anxiety and depression, a rare blood disease, dyslexia, and cancer, I am doing okay. I’m fine, but I’m just not happy, and I’d rather be honest than impressive.
This morning I wrote on a post-it note, Dear Life, you suck! I am feeling a little bit better and stronger now. Still, I am not fine; I am sad, sick, hurt, angry, mad, and disappointed. Still, do you know what? I don’t think people understand how stressful it is to explain what’s going on in your head when you don’t even understand it yourself. I am not sure if I am feeling better or if I’m just used to being sick.
I did go on a spending spree last night, spending a little over $10,000. My inheritance was stolen due to family conflict and inheritance, medical, and other power of attorney rights, but I’ll put on a smile and move on. It will hurt, but I will survive. Sometimes, I don’t feel like living. I don’t want to kill myself; I just want it all to stop or go away. I want to be calm. I want to be happy. I feel tired, the kind of tired that sleep can’t fix. Every so often, I hope I fall asleep and never wake up. I’m scared. I’m scared of people. I’m scared of doctors. I’m scared of disease. I’m scared of life. I’m scared of death, but most of all, I’m scared of me. All I really need is the right medication, with side effects that won’t kill me or make me worse and doctors who listen and care. I need family members who won’t judge me and are willing to help me with my journey, friends who try to understand. I need my bed, comfy pillows, a heating pad, blankets, a good night’s rest, and above all, a fucking cure. Things change, but it doesn’t mean they get better.
* * *
You can also find Jonathan on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, which is his preferred social media site. Author Jonathan Harnisch has written a semi-fictional and semi-autobiographical bestselling novel,Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography, which is available on Amazon and through most major booksellers. He is also a noted, and sometimes controversial, mental health advocate, a fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer. Google him for more information.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment or share with your friends using the little share buttons below.