Hey, thanks for meeting me here,
Look, I want to preface all of this by saying that this is just something I need to get off my chest and have put off for some 17-ish years and that’s my fault.
By no means does this indicate that we’re done with this relationship that we have, nor does it mean that I’m not still incredibly grateful for the abundance of gifts that You’ve heaped upon me. Trust me, I remember and appreciate every single one and, frankly, am still amazed at all the times You’ve bailed me out and stood beside me, handling my incredible fuck-ups. (I’m thinking specifically of that time around 2003-ish when I drove 2 hrs. completely obliterated on an entire bottle of Unisom and 99 proof alcohol while listening to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on repeat and somehow made it to my destination without hurting anyone or anything. You were in the driver’s seat, then – no doubt. I still have yet to wrap my head entirely around that one.)
And you know what else? In my years and years of dealing with my mental illness (which You probably know this post is going to be about) You’ve given me a ton of great opportunities and chances at “fixing” things and a support unit of unconditional love and, again, I am eternally, consistently, constantly, exhaustedly grateful for all of that.
But I need to vent to You for a second. And I feel like we’re at a place where You’re going to understand where I’m coming from and not hold it against me. So I’m just going to be honest here and let it all out. And I apologize for sobbing all the way through this.
It has taken me 17-ish years to muster up the courage to say all this and admit all this to myself but I’m fucking pissed off that I got slapped with such an incredibly bullshit disease as mental illness. Hey, did you know that this month is National Mental Illness Awareness Month? Because I sure as shit didn’t… along with, like, 99.5% of the American population. Meanwhile, we’ve got cancer walks and charities out the ass; there’s a whole Youdamned month for breast cancer; there’s a differently-colored ribbon to support every effing thing under the sun (You know what the color is for “mental illness awareness”? It’s green, which is also the color for kidney donation, and is more recognized as such, which is a big “FUUUCK YOU” to us crazies out here… personally, I think it should be psychedelic tie-dye, but that’s for another discussion.) So what exactly is my point here? Basically, my biggest complaint is that I’ve been given the gift of a chronic illness that has tried to fucking kill me (specifically, about 6 “official” times, if you want to get technical here) and that MOST PEOPLE THINK IS COMPLETELY FICTITIOUS.
There are people starving to death and being destroyed en masse every day. There are children living in homes where they are abused and unloved and there are millions upon millions of people who are aching to have a life that resembles anything close to mine. And so, when I start telling people at age 11 that there’s something wrong with me and I’m depressed and don’t know why, I get told to suck it up and get over myself. When I tell family members and friends that I’ve been contemplating suicide in my late teenage years, I am brushed aside and reprimanded for “just trying to get attention.” I am called “melodramatic”. I am denied treatment. I am cursed with stigmas. I am lead to believe that all of this aching, relentless mental torment that I am experiencing on a daily basis isn’t real, that I am just an ungrateful product of a privileged lifestyle.
Naturally, none of this would have happened if I had, instead, complained of a tumor growing in my skull or, you know, something physical that doctors could point to and say “Ah yes! Here’s the problem!” so everyone around me could rally to my side immediately. I could’ve just combated the illness right out of the gate. I wouldn’t have had to spend years pleading with people to listen and/or believe me if I had something like cancer or lupus or a collapsing lung or an aneurysm. Nobody would’ve accused me of just trying to get attention; nobody would’ve refused to listen or tried to make me feel like less of a human being because of ancient misconceptions, myths or stigmas surrounding these sorts of diseases. I would never have tried to self-medicate for a decade or let myself give in so easily to my disease over and over for years if I had something that the masses acknowledge as a legitimate illness. Nobody ever would’ve mocked me or called me a “drama-queen” or a “whiner” or told me just to get over it or that I “just needed to find Jesus” or “just put a smile on my face and be grateful for what I have” when I tried to tell them why I needed help. (I’m thinking of a plethora of family-related specific instances here, but I think we both know what/whom I’m referencing, so I don’t want to drag that into a public forum.)
And, yes, I’m aware it could’ve been worse; I could’ve been born in a country or an era where people with ANY type of mental irregularity would be completely ostracized or locked in an institution or burned at the stake or whatever was deemed necessary at the time. So I definitely do understand that I’m blessed to at least live in a time and place where treatment is available.
All this in mind, I have to admit that, yeah, I’m kind of pissed that I landed here in a society where everybody and their mother is seeing a therapist and being medicated for somethingoranother. So, not only do I live in a society where there’s a stigma put on the mentally ill, but I’m also simultaneously existing in a reality in which so many people are overmedicated to avoid feeling human emotion that nobody takes real psychosis seriously anymore and, God, I gotta tell you THAT IS FUCKED UP. Even to a person who is mentally unstable on her own, that scenario is literally insane and yet! Here I am! Trying to just get a steady treatment/regimen going so, like someone with diabetes, I can live my life taming and managing the disease I’ll have to learn to live with. However, unlike that lucky bastard with diabetes (that’s sarcasm right there, btw) I get to play “musical doctors” for the last ten years because psychiatrists are just handing out various medications like they’re flinging them off a pharmaceutical company’s sponsored Mardi Gras float. Seriously, I hate to sound rude but it’s the only disease in the world where I have to fight against the stereotypes that abusers have set – I doubt if anyone receiving chemo has to listen to WASPs make publicly-acceptable jokes about what kind of IV they’re “tooootally addicted to” these days.
I swear to You, it’s an uphill battle in every Youdamned direction; I gotta fight with society, my family, my friends and these throngs of doctors just to get taken seriously ON TOP of having to fight my own fucking mind, which is perpetually trying to fucking kill me when it’s left to its own devices.
:::sigh::: No, I’m not mad at any of these people anymore and, yes, I’ve learned to deal with public ignorance about it and just do what I need to do for myself so that I can survive; I’ve been living (sometimes just barely) with this shit for almost 2 decades now so I’m mostly on Autopilot at this point. I hope You hear me tell You how grateful I am every single day for this incredible life I have right now. Please don’t think that I ever forget it.
But, dammit, that doesn’t make any of it hurt any less, God. And that’s what I’m so so very angry/frustrated about right now and wanted You to know. It hurts to think about how lonely it all was. I ache when I remember how alone I felt every time I went to the hospital, where nobody sent flowers and only my family attempted to talk to me like a person. I’ll never stop hurting when I remember the looks on my friends’ faces after the hospitalizations, like they were in a room with a wild animal and were too afraid of getting hurt to try to learn how to talk to me. It fucking hurts to remember having to be my only source of comfort during so many nights… both before and after I started any sort of treatment… always for the same reasons… It hurts to see my scars and try to rehearse how I’ll explain them to my daughter one day because I know in my heart that she needs to know. It hurts to think about how I’m still not done; how I’m still having to deal with my Enemy Mind and how I’m just so damned exhausted with it all, God.
It fucking hurts, God. When does that part stop?
Can you make that part stop?
I’m not really mad at You, God – not when it comes right down to it. I know You’ve spared me from far far worse things and I really, honestly am grateful for where I am and the progress I’ve supposedly made and all that noise I feel like I’ve repeated into a cliche at this point….
I just want it to go away now, God. All of it. The recurrences/relapses and the memories and, hell, even the scars, if I’m being honest here.
But mostly the pain, God. I can deal with any more insanity and craziness and mental bullshit You wanna hurl at me, God. Bring it on. I’ve gotten this far and in far worse conditions.
But please. Please take away the aching. I’ve had enough pain from all of this; I’m so fucking sick of hurting from this one stupid problem that it’s now compounding into anger for still feeling it in the first place and it just gets heavier and heavier and I can’t fucking tolerate it anymore, God. I can’t…
…And I know when I say “I can’t” that You’ll stand right there with me and You’ll see to it that You can prove me wrong and that I can get through anything and all that crap that “people of faith” like to blabber to each other when shit gets rough so allow me to clarify:
I probably can tolerate more but I really, really do not want to. Seriously, I’m finished.
I mean, I didn’t even have the energy to be angry all the way through this letter, for Christ’s sake.
So yeah. That’s where I am. I’ve been ready for this to be over and done with for a long, long time.
And I would really, genuinely love it if we could both be on the same page with that.