Lost and Never Found: An Alcoholic’s Unknown Story

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.

takingthemaskoff

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“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love it’s will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose – this is the concrete – and these are my damaged petals.”

 -Tupac Shakur 

 

 This is the first real case, my first time of seeing beyond someone’s mask, this stuck with me and changed my life. 

 I didn’t do it, I watched someone else do it. My world changed forever. I guess it was my first lesson in how…

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Grandma Goes to Rehab

This poem beautifully ties together generational addiction. Sad but true.

Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets

Blue Angel 3

By Kevin Ridgeway

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
dresser.

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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I See Childhood

Bathwater

Bathwater

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.

Thump! Thump!

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.

Speaking Openly About Mental Health Isn’t Brave, It’s Responsible – By Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman talks about the issue of mental health which many are afraid to discuss. I find it liberating to share if only through the writen word. Gradually, I’m telling my story to a few trusted individuals. Each time a weight is lifted from my shoulders. The more we talk the more attention we bring to mental health the healthier we will all be.

Side by Side

speaking up

Speaking openly about mental health isn’t brave.

It’s normal. It’s healthy. It’s responsible.

Talking about stuff in your brain is no different than talking about stuff going on with any other body part. Talking about improving your mental health and fitness is no different than talking about improving your physical health and fitness. Swapping techniques on how to do difficult exercises is the same whether it’s a CBT exercise or a crossfit WOD. It’s all about health.

Speaking about mental health isn’t brave. It’s the stuff happening in your brain. Your brain is an organ. It’s a fact. It’s happening. Big deal. It’s nothing special to talk about. People like me who spend all of their time talking about mental health are really just the mental health equivalent of that sweaty guy at the gym in a tank-top that won’t stop talking about gainz. I don’t think anybody would tell…

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Snakes & Ladders – By Ian Fullbrook

Ian Fullbrook paints an accurate and vivid description of what it’s like to live with and work through mental illness. I was especially struck by her comment about having to convince people you are in fact suffering from mental illness. Ronnie Schwartz’s art is beautiful and shows not only how uneven the path to recovery is, but it also shows the many steps we must take to reach the other side. Readers, I hope this gives you hope.

Side by Side

snakes and ladders

Dealing with a mental illness is like climbing the rungs of a ladder. You look up at the ladder, thinking there’s no end to it. In the early stages of diagnosis, you are in despair and think how difficult it is to get on that first rung of recovery. But it can be done, no one says it’s easy, and there will be times when you slip back down, but hopefully it’s temporarily.

Like Sir Edmund Hilary climbing Everest, every expedition can be done, and every ladder and mountain climbed. There are several steps to be undertaken of course, like first of all seeking that help to get onto that first rung. The help of doctors, family, friends, mental health services, the overcoming of that denial that “I’m fine – there’s nothing wrong with me – I’ll get over it”. Also, you have to convince others that there’s something wrong. You…

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