The amount of suffering mental illness causes me must remain invisible by necessity and definition. This past week has been hell, but unless the opportunity presents itself, such things must remain repressed and hidden, invisible to an efficient world …
From my in-progress book on mental illness …
I’ve had a lot happen over the past week, so it’s hard to narrow it down into a single story. So I will focus on a single event, and use backstory as necessary.
I felt shot down a few nights ago. I have a picture of a street kid curled up in an alley on my Facebook profile page, because it represents to me the freedom that comes from having a good heart. And because I care about the victims of our cruel world.
It’s a reminder to keep trying to be better.
This was in my mind when I walked. I walked through the city, on my Target run, as I like to call it, where I pass Wendy’s and Target and health supplement stores and all of that fun stuff.
I want to fade. I want to disappear.
And that night, I wanted to disappear. But I couldn’t, because I knew I existed whether I liked it or not. I didn’t have a choice. I had to keep pushing forward.
I remember walking down the sidewalk towards the Wal-Mart, and as I walked, I collapsed a few times, thinking to myself, “Just stop, please, just stop!” Grabbing my head in agony, wishing it would stop, just stop. Wishing I wasn’t down. I collapsed several times, holding my head and feeling sad, and wishing it wasn’t so lonely.
I was down.
I was defeated.
With the image of the street kid on my profile page in my unconscious mind, I walked into an alley, just wanting all of the noises to stop, all the sounds, all the destruction, all the sadness, all the internal chaos and loneliness, just wanting it to stop. I became the street kid and curled up in an alley. And I just stayed there.
I was sad, crying internally, alone, and I wasn’t even homeless. I just was.
But somehow, it felt comfortable, being on the asphalt, because it felt like it was what I deserved. I didn’t deserve better. I didn’t deserve better. I deserved to be alone. To be heartless and selfish. I deserved to be the forgotten street kid that I never helped.
I was down.
I stayed there, trying to get my thoughts together, and when I was strong enough, I got up, and continued to walk, walked to Wal-Mart, thinking over and over again about how I was going to be hospitalized. It was only a matter of time. It was only a matter of time before I collapsed completely mentally.
Because I’m down.
Because my mind has broken down.
And yet I know I need to push forward. I don’t have a choice. I must keep pushing forward. I must keep pushing forward. And that’s what I told myself. Despite the fact that I was literally down, felt shot down, I had to keep trying.
And so I walked around Wal-Mart, thinking carefully, and saying, “It’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time before I’m hospitalized. Before my mind can’t take anymore. Before my mind finally loses. Before I finally lose.”
I was sad at the state of the stupid materialism of the mega-store that was Wal-Mart, the epitome of capitalism run rampant, of excess pragmatism run haywire, of consumerism out of control. And the people there were cruel to me. They were so fucking cruel.
They were disconnected. The world was disconnecting right before me.
I went home, defeated, and cried to the mirror, to my reflection, to my self-reflection, “I don’t know what you want! I don’t have anything for you! I have nothing! I am nothing! I don’t have anything you can use!”
My red shirt looked intense on me as I spouted my intensity. It matched my mood, the red shade, the red shirt. The intensity.
And I felt alone.
I thought I should call the Crisis Line, but I knew they’d make it worse. They always make it worse. I knew I was alone, then. There was no one to call. They say don’t think you’re alone, or you really become alone, but I knew it was more complicated than that. I was alone.
I was sad because I had seen the state of the universe and I was sad because I’d seen the state of the world.
But in all honesty, I wasn’t sure why I felt defeated, except because I felt I couldn’t change anything. Everything was already determined. It was already decided.
And I wanted connection. Intimacy. Truth. Power. Honesty. The ability to confess and exist.
I wanted everything.
I wanted nothing.
And so, knowing I’d taken my meds, even though late, I waited for them to take effect, and they finally did, and I slowly fell asleep.
I didn’t know I could feel that down. I didn’t know I could suffer that significantly. I didn’t know I could suffer so lonely. I didn’t know I could be down, shot down. But I was. I was, and thus, that was my existence.
But what it taught me … I guess I can’t put even that into words.