It’s not an illness you can wear on your skin. It’s not the sort of illness where you’ll receive bouquets of flowers and rows of ‘Get Well Soon’ cards to line your mantle piece. It’s one of the few illnesses you have very little choice in, but can feel completely belittled and ashamed of it none the less. You can sit with the tears stinging the back of your eyes, and yet feel completely selfish at the mere thought of letting them fall.
You don’t get to stand up in public, even amongst aquaintances and tell them that you’re sick. Even amongst close friends, the mere stigmas and misunderstandings can lead to rifts, rifts that only deepen the ravine that feels like it’s feeling the space where your brain should be. Ironically, sometimes those moments where you feel you’re at your deepest, darkest and scariest the guilt of loading someone else with the blackness in your soul seems unfathomable. You can sit, with friends’ numbers at your fingertips, with peoples faces staring at you online, and be completely debilitated with silence. You talk yourself into thinking that the burden is yours to bear alone, and slip deeper into isolation.
I abhor the image of the black dog, when in my world the beauty and innocence and companionship that dogs, and in fact any animal shows seems to vastly distinct from the hopeless fogs of my mind. I could make peace with a quiet, lingering black dog; innocent but misunderstood and satisfied with a scratch behind the ears and a deep soulful look.
I feel as if it’s a black cloak, shielding my eyes to the outside world but reflecting my own deepest thoughts back in. Conflictingly, it’s at these moments where the passion in my heart burns with such intensity as I reflect on the injustices of the world. At these moments I declare that I don’t want to live in a world where people comment vainly on clothes, on gossip and the artificial human landscape while horrendous acts still occur. Where we can’t see the forest for the trees, where we are so selfishly resource driven that we forget that the limbs we tear off the Earth are in fact of the Mother who bore us in the first place. Is it any wonder that in these moments, I lose faith that anything good can come from us as a species, and what little hope I have of making a difference. Death seems suddenly so pretty, so rational. And if not the bravery of death, then a mere physical punishing of my own flesh seems to dull the ebbing and flowing aches trapped in what seems like my very soul.
I struggle with the agonising yet deathly beauty of creative that falls from my mind when I hit rock bottom. Words spill out of a spot in my brain that I lose in moments of positivity, of good health. It all occurs so quickly and then I curse myself when I can’t recall the right words later. There’s some sort of moronic irony that I hold myself to a perfectionists standard, almost just so I will inevitably fail and the dark cloak will whisper to me to pull it back to it’s rightful place over my head.
Right now, my deepest struggle is knowing that I desperately need help. If not for the blessing of a compassionate and passionate boyfriend, I might have been spending the night in the local hospital. The thoughts in my head scare the depths of hell out of me, while it seems that some of the drugs that are designed to soothe and help me adjust are creating obstacles of their own. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, feeling bubbly and cocky and confident (with flashing moments of paranoia and irritability) and only hours later living with a heart pounding a start contrast of that. But which friend I dare load this onto? Who does one call, when they realise that they have spent their whole lives trying desperately to be friends with everyone and best friends with less than few? How can you fairly pour years of turmoil into conversation as immediately as you feel you need to without ignoring the pleasantries that fail to come naturally in this state?
I acknowledge I’m in a dangerous spot, teetering on a ledge with a smothering deep cold body waiting to absorb me on one side, and hot coals lining the other side. I suppose there is comfort to be found that at the very least I can recognise this. But I cannot lie; as selfish and as horrible as it may be to admit, I would so so happily trade the place of anyone as I am now if not for the guilt of giving them this. I would do anything to be able to genuinely feel that there may be hope and change in sight.