I've maybe mentioned once or twice that I'm not quite right, right? And that this year in particular was particularly hellish in the not rightness department and what with one thing or another, it took almost 9 long months to resolve completely? Because, yeah, for the most part my Not Quite Rightness is just charming and funny. I have to drink coffee out of my blue mug with a moth or OMG the world might end. Things must be organized just so, the towels must be folded a certain way, and GOD FORBID someone sits in my knitting spot on the sofa because if they do I will get palpitations and maybe start glaring daggers and slamming cupboards and muttering in the kitchen UNTIL THEY MOVE. My ex girlfriend once referred to me as The OCD Fairy. She's a bitch? But she's right. This year... this year has not been so much with the charming and funny, it has been much more with the heartbreaking test of faith, of strength, of endurance. It has been *hard*. There were days where I wasn't sure I was going to survive.
Today I read something over at Pax Nortana and it really spoke to me. Some parts more than others. I wrote a bit up for my Livejournal (which is a much more personal journal than this here knitting blog, this being something that I show my actual parents and where we maybe skip much of the wangst that gets spewed elsewhere.) So I wasn't gonna post it here but then I thought, what the hell. The 'rents know I'm Not Quite Right. And what do I care? These thoughts are too good not to share.
So here is what Joel's definition of what being mentally ill looks like did for me....
For the record, I don't know that I define myself as mentally ill right now. I've found a med that works and as long as I eat adequately to balance my sugars, sleep enough and keep things fairly minimal in the stress dept., I'm stable and healthy, mentally speaking. I am doing well. I never forget, though, what that avalanche feels like. I never forget that balance is fragile. I never quite trust the feeling of well being and stability and I'm never sure if the sand under my feet is going to start shifting again without warning. I don't take it for granted. I just enjoy it in the right now I am healthy sense and leave it at that.
I learned a lot about compassion this year. What I think it is and what I think it is not. I do think it is something worthwhile, something to strive for. I learned about trust this year, what it can feel like to have your trust shattered because your illness is more than someone can deal with or because your faith in their strength was misplaced. People break. It isn't their fault. I also learned what it can feel like to have your trust and faith in someone confirmed, despite your illness. People can surprise you. It should be said that no matter how much those lessons sucked? I'm glad I had the Splendid Learning Opportunities that I was given. Though as an aside, I kinda think that I prefer my lessons without that side of Universal Whallop Upside The Haid. This is where the little voice says something along the lines of, "but without a whallop upside your head you never actually comprehend the lessons because you are lame." and that is when I start thinking maybe the little voice should just SHUT THE HELL UP bitch please.
I learned that mental illness doesn't have to be who you are but that it will totally inform who you are. I learned that mental illness does not define me, but it sure as hell tints the glasses through which I define the world.
When I read Joel's words, I see myself in them and these days, I relate much more to the more positive things. Maybe next year I'll find G-d or see neon lights in autumn leaves. Maybe next year archangels will speak to me or I'll have to stay off ebay again. I hope not, but like I said, I don't take it for granted. I'm just here and things are cool. Maybe I'm not quite right, bless my heart, but I'm right enough right now.