Takingoffthemask gives a real world account of the reality of mental illness. When he spoke of people with mental illness being treated as if they weren’t human beings I felt like jumping off the kitchen chair and yelling, “YES!” When I was hospitalized it was as if I weren’t a person, but a chart. It was as though I were a criminal not a person. People are so afraid of mental illness. They have no idea how afraid the mentally ill are of everyday life and people. TRIGGER WARNING-This is pretty descriptive about abuse at times. Make sure you are in a good space when you read it.
It’s been a rough week, month. I’m fighting to get through the week, do the most basic of tasks. Perhaps this poem reveals a bit of my anger at the outside world. There are moments when I think if only mental illness manifested in a physical form then we wouldn’t be judged-silently or otherwise-for our often hidden struggle…
I don’t beg on the street.
I’m not the man,
Holding the sign.
I’m not the woman,
Stumbling across Washington Street
High and bruised.
I’m the woman who drives past
On her way to work
Sloppily brushing matted hair
Quickly covering the passenger floorboard with a yoga mat
Empty McDonald bags
Month-old dirty Tupper wear
Scraps of paper…
You see, I work to conceal the inner-grime
The unacceptable bits
The bits that merge
A million bits stick together
And I’m buried.
No hand reaches toward me.
I close the door
An average suburban home.
Sometimes I throw trash outside my door
Sometimes I neglect the yard
Yet, no one knows.
With the click of a lock
I vanish into chaos.
The difference between the man, woman and me?
Because Dear world,
We’re mentally ill
And no we don’t need to
“Just get right with God”
“Just get over it”
“Just forget about the past”
“Just tough it out”
“Just grow up”
If it were just that easy
The man with the sign would vanish
Mingle with the acceptable masses.
The stumbling woman,
High and bruised
Would leave the heroin needle
In the back alley
She too would
Mingle with the acceptable masses
If only we could Just
This poem beautifully ties together generational addiction. Sad but true.
I was six years old and told by my uncle
that we were going on a treasure hunt
through grandma’s house, and if I found
all of the empty bottles of vodka there
would be a prize! a seasoned excavation
artist from my previous seasons looking
for Easter eggs, I found everything from
pints to gallons; some of them had exotic
labels with strange Russian names, others
had familiar supermarket iconography,
and I scored extra points plus a pat on the
head when I discovered one lingering
underneath the wig that sat atop her
as I watched him empty the contents
of every flask and airplane shooter
I thought to myself that grandma sure
was thirsty and must be having a
wonderful time at camp because she
had been there for weeks.
I would come to understand the
purpose of all of this years later when
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Hope everyone is well and getting through their days.
I plan to blog more after this week. My dad had major surgery today and my dog is slowly dying from an infection.
Struggling a bit right now, but trying to roll with the punches. Went to yoga tonight and have been painting when PTSD anxiety and grief overwhelm me.
Humor struck me tonight as I climbed out of the car and grabbed my bright pink yoga mat. An inflated hospital glove lay on the pavement beside the driver’s side. It looked like an inflated hand. My Yin yoga instructor said, “It must be a universal high five.” Yep, must of been. My dad came out of surgery safely.
In this post, I talk about a popular theme developing each week as I sit on my therapist’s couch. Bathing. In Intrusive Thoughts; Mom’s Voice I say “I see childhood.” In this post I’m briefly able to describe the flashback…
I look at the pink bath towel as I wipe my hairy adult legs. I study crooked six-month old teal nail polish and the green veins on top of my feet. As I stand up, the bubble-gum pink towel freezes me. Flash. It’s bath time.
Just outside the bathroom door, mom turns, rests her hand against the wall. “I’ll be watchin YOU. So, better dry right.”
I scream until I think I’ll go mad. I hate it. Hate having to tell her I’m done so she can watch me dry off. Sometimes I scream so hard, my face flushes fire-engine red and all I hear is the sharp buzz in my ears.
I stop and listen to the sound.
It is my heart beating in my ears. I feel the red gooey heart frantically pumping blood. I see it. I’m in a rage. I cry so often that my throat is sometimes sore and a sense of exhaustion tugs at my whole being. Even my legs feel heavy.
I wrote this at the end of last week…
I’ve not been able to write most of the week because of the concussion. Reading and looking at my phone or tablet was also not allowed.
I’ve felt angry. Like right now. Anger sizzles on the tip of my tongue. I want to write. I was learning so much. I was reading so much. It is as if this whole episode transported me back in time. I’m young again. I have no free will. I’m trapped between four white walls. I’m sad. I’m mad. I cannot think world.
I need yoga, but I’m scared because of my head. They said no hot yoga, but I crave the heat. Do I override instructions and listen to my own mind and body? My mind is screaming for a break. I need something to straighten out my mind. A few hours in the yoga studio and I often feel relief. One hour. Gentle class. I spend most of the class laying on the mat and meditating. I finally sleep.