NAMI hopes to bring awareness of mental illness and stop the stigma against it. Having attended a few support groups through NAMI this year it has been an eye-opening experience. Some of the other members have been institutionalized, numerous times. I have never been and hope to never be. I hate hospitals. They are a lonely and depressing place.
I think my meds are what keeps me from them. There is something amiss in my brain that causes me to experience such anxiety that I can't think of anything else, only the thing I am obsessing about. There is the depression that is so deep that I feel like I am a zombie, a dead person trying to function in life, but failing miserably.
I will probably have to be on meds for the rest of my life. And that is OK. I know what I am supposed to do, to think, to believe, to pray. Yet when I am in the throes of anxiety or depression, all that becomes impossible. No matter how much I want sanity, it eludes me, and I flail about helplessly like a fish in the boat.
This is not the the life I chose. No one chooses mental illness. No one chooses to be plopped down on a planet that makes no sense, and I am constantly the object of scrutiny. No one wants to live this hell on earth.
But we are here. We aren't going anywhere. I think we scare people, because we demonstrate that humanity is not in control. Things happen that is out of our control, and that is scary for us. We don't want to know that we might never get out of bed, or we might never get to sleep. We just want to live our lives the way we want. This is a delusion.
We don't always get what we want. But we can want what we have. Last week, after seeing a friend in the hospital so sick and helpless, I was reminded of what I do have. Family, friends, purpose, faith. I have more than most of the world. I have what many want: a roof over my head, clothes to keep me warm, food to fill my belly.
I am blessed.
Before I go, I just want to say that if you don't agree with me about mental illness, that's fine. That's your prerogative. But please don't judge those who do have mental illness. You don't know what it is like to live with it. More than anything, we just want support. We just want to be loved. Isn't that what anyone wants? Support? Love? We get enough judgement in our lives. It just worsens our burden. Life is hard enough.