My Time With Mental Illness

My Time With Mental Illness

Most Friday’s or Saturday’s (pre-pandemic) I would spend my daytime hours at a local cigar shop, reading, with perhaps a bit of writing tossed in; a weekly moments recovery. Ironically, I spent much of my days alone. I don’t work. I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to, but mental illness and I can’t seem to get out of each other’s way. So, in my quiet corner, I made feeble, anemic attempts at sorting through my crowded, tired mind. But the ability to unravel from the trauma of life is just a mirage that flickers in the sun’s heat. What most people might reckon a typical day is itself the persistent connection of anguish, sensory overload, and disorientation that I contend with. That’s why when I hear people talk about learning to cope with mental illness, a macabre chuckle in the back my head reverberates. Coping is easier said than done. When you find yourself in a battle for a solid grasp of who you are amidst paranoia of differing degrees, mania and severe depression whip lashing your psyche at 180 mph before hitting the wall and various cocktails of psychotropics coursing through your veins that leave you with little sense of who you might have been before this journey into a realm of darkness and fire; coping is a myth, survival is the dream.  Because the prize in this marathon is peace, a sense self; at least that’s what is at stake for me. 

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