Uncertainty in Uncertain Times
It's been a few weeks since I wrote a blog. I am well, but have felt overwhelmed by the world events. One of the things I've been involved with is a free writing course. It has been fun to just to write without stopping and judging what I am writing or saying. Last week as I was writing, the uncertainty we are all feeling came into my pen as I wrote.
I was struck by the idea of these being "uncertain times." You see I was blown away by the fact that I live with uncertain times ALL THE TIME. While everyone does to a certain degree, what I am talking about is the uncertainty of living 24/7 with a mental illness.
Those of you who have mental illness will understand immediately and those of you who don't probably won't have a clue. Well, as much as I take care of myself by going to a psychiatrist and a therapist and taking meds (along with my other coping skills), I still wake up uncertain as to what part of my mental illness will be challenging today. Or what undiscovered trigger will pop up and knock me into an anxious state, depressive state, or other aspect of my PTSD.
Today, our free writing was about being in captivity. I and others like me are captives in our mental illness. Now, I don't feel sorry for myself because there are gifts in everything. What makes me angry about this captivity is that while I accept it and do the best I can, the rest of the world still stigmatizes me for being in a place I never asked to be. No matter how we all move forward on this issue, there is still a big divide: them and us!
Now, the world is in captivity because of the pandemic and people are protesting because they have to wear masks and stay inside. Their anger is on the rise and now they are acting out...taking out their fears and anger like mad creatures! The mad creatures they accuse us of being!
Isolation for some us with mental illness can sometimes be a protection from the cruelty forced upon us by the outside world. Our depression can keep us there and our anxiety can be so high to keep us from even doing the simplest things. The medications we take and their strong effects take our dignity away from us. Inside we hurt in a way that many of you cannot understand.
The other day I had an incident with my 6yr old daughter that was honest, but broke my heart. We were getting ready for her home school and my husband usually sets things up. He was helping our neighbor, so I took over. For some reason, his computer shut down and I didn't have his password. At this point I did not check in with myself and my anxiety kicked in. The dog was barking and I yelled at her and my daughter. In felt so embarrassed because it really wasn't a big deal. My daughter was in tears. I explained to her that Mommy does the best she can. I go to the doctor; I see a therapist; and I take my meds. But sometimes this happens and I assured her that it was not her! I did not feel like a failure the way most parents do. What I felt was deeper than that. I revealed my broken parts to her and the burden of them.
So, I don't feel sorry for the people in shut down, who are out there with their automatic weapons protesting because they don't want to wear a mask! Your anger may be justified but your violence is not! We with mental illness get accused of so much when there is mass shootings. The worst thing about a person with a mental illness with a gun is that they will probably use it first on themselves!
As the pandemic wears on, please keep your mind focused on the positive and leave your judgements and fears at the door. We all need love and care...
Love & Peace