I used to write almost every day here. Over time, I stopped writing as much. A few times over the past few months I’ve tried exploring that. Writing here is supposed to be a coping strategy. By not writing, I’m not coping.
During the past year and a half, I’ve been noticing a steady decline in my well-being. On the outside, I appear fine to everyone. People who know me in person will see someone with a smile and a fairly quick wit. I’ve consoled myself that people are telling me I’m making progress.
But I’m not, not really. This is terrifying to admit, because there are people who might read this who would use it to lock me up or do other menacing things. Their own terror compels them to do so, but they don’t realize they’d be making matters worse. So what I do is keep quiet, I self-censor, only to placate the delicate sensibilities of others above my own needs.
I am just as clueless today about how to mend my fractured sense of self as I was when I drove to Alabama from Florida. Coping strategies just help me circle the drain a little bit longer, but gravity and the inexorable pull of the water will claim me. How is someone supposed to fight that?
My purpose in writing this is to show what a mostly honest self-assessment would look like from me. There are things I’ve written that I’ve deleted in this post which probably would dishearten people more than it should. I’ve removed them, not because I don’t feel them, but because I want to protect my appetite for dissolution. As strange as this sounds, it is one of the very few comforts I have left that nobody can take from me.
To be sure, I don’t feel exactly like this every day. But these days get so abysmally macabre that I feel like I must hide them from everyone else. While I want to say this is to protect them, it really is to protect myself. These things get used against me; they are my Achilles heel. Other people – I cannot say more sane – very much use this to their advantage.
I think it’s a burden that many people with mental illness bear. Society is so quick to shun those who are so weak that they cannot avoid accepting that they are wounded in a place that does not openly bleed. Individuals are quick to use it as a means to abuse others more fully.
Figuring out how to heal a mind invariably has to involve dealing with the actual abuses of others and the apprehension it causes. Being afraid of it holds me in thrall to its vices. If I am to make progress, I am going to have to face this at some point.