I conjure up my thoughts today on those two words. Two words I relate to and seem to be stuck in the back of my Rolodex mind for many years now. To have a mental illness or a few, it is easy to feel trapped and limited. Let me explain. You can easily feel trapped in depression, trapped in anxiety, trapped by obsessions, or compulsions, and did I mention ruminations? All of this I have felt; many times over. Mental illness is not something that gets a cast put on and you goto physical therapy. It is not getting your appendix out and knowing you will be ok after a certain amount of time. Mental illness , you don’t know when you will get better. There is no time estimation or prognosis that you will be back to new in six weeks. No, nothing of that, no hope for that. Mental illness stays with you forever. It is in , it is out, like that drama driven friend who just doesn’t get that you do not want to be their friend. That drama driven friend only comes around when they fail with a relationship or want money. Mental illness is just the same but not a person. It is a thing inside of you with you for the rest of your life. You go through periods of a drought and periods of a rain fall. These can last days, months, or years. Scared of when it will return but not knowing when; yet scared to feel that deep depression again or frustration. A person might ruminate over this and spend the day doing just that only to find themselves on a one way track to hell. You have to find the way to break that endless record of thought , which is not easily done.
When I speak of limits, I mean many things. A lack of job due to your mental illness, a lack of insurance and money that comes from your lack of job. You try your fucking hardest yet you cannot help what is in your genes that came out due to experiences in life. You do everything that is suggested and more to help yourself but even though you try your damnedest, you can still fail. That is the biggest frustration ever because we are taught to try our hardest, to never give up, and eventually we will get what we want. I am proof that I have done all the above and have not gotten what I wanted entirely. All I wanted in life was to have a successful career and to support myself from that. I did not dream of growing up, getting married, or having kids. Nor did I dream of a perfect wedding or what my kids names would be. I wanted power, control, and sustainability. I have had that to a point, but not nearly 100%. If it were not for my husband, I would be at home with family. If it were not for family, I would easily be homeless before my husband. Limits. Do you see what I am talking about? Power, control, and sustainability, I still want those things along with a career but there have been too many times or gaps in time that I have had to rest and regroup. You feel robbed of what others have in a long track of a continuous career. Jealousy ensues then frustration. You get the point.
Your reaction might be to appreciate what you have or the other blanket statement to focus on the positive. That is dismissing my feelings and you dismiss anyone’s feelings of whatever what they are mourning in their voids in life. Don’t do it, take it from me, it is an insensitive statement that we have been conditioned to say when not knowing what else to say. These blanket statements help no one and only shows how much you don’t really care.
As much as people want to believe that we are born with equal opportunity, we are not. Many variables determine how much opportunity or lack of opportunity we have. Limits and being trapped play into just that. None of us mental health sufferers asked to be born with the genes and the situations we are thrown into.
Today, I mourn over what I feel was ripped from me, as I strive to still get it. These are my feelings and mine alone. Don’t try to debate it, or anyone else who might feel that way, just let them know you are here to be their friend.