As a wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend, as a blogger, as a person, just in general, there are some things I am unwavering about. There are somethings in which I stand rigidly, unbending, straight as an arrow, refuse to back down about. There just are and I don't think that I need to apologize for them or make excuses. They are a part of what makes me ....well, me. Good or bad, right or wrong they raise me up, they define me, and sometimes they devastate me as well. They are both my curse and my crutch. They are my paradise and my hell. My fear and my safety just like everyone else's. They are my cross to bear but they are also part of what makes me a determined, stubborn as an ox, proud, fearless woman. Because I have lived it I can heal. Because I have tasted the poison, I can spit it out. Because I have agonized I can offer my words of comfort. Because I too know what it's like to suffer....
I can take a lot. Put up with a lot. Swallow my pride enough. Try to be accepting...but there is a point. There is a line in which I will not cross. There is a line in the sand and this is it.
I don't have copious amounts of money. I am not rich, by any means. I am unable to work. I am unable to drive. I talk entirely too much. My comments on other people's posts are novella in size. I sometimes forget to "filter" what I say. I am constantly thinking. I am way too oversensitive. I cry when I get really really angry (and it's the ugly kind of cry). I have a problem with smells (I don't like them). I often think I am one pee jar away from Howard Hughes status. I can't stand comb overs (they irritate me. You aren't fooling anybody. Cut it already!) I am lactose intolerant. I say stupid puns no one finds funny but me (and I think they are hilarious). I am terrible at surprises because I can't keep it a secret long enough not to tell the person getting it. I am not a morning person. I hate bananas, and waffles, and brussle sprouts. I am also not fond of cauliflower or "fishy broccoli" as I call it. I have diabetes. I am a shame to southerners everywhere because I can't make eatable gravy (it tastes like burnt flour). I like eighties rock bands and fifties do whop and opera too. I know every word of Robin Hood Men In Tights and can quote it from memory. I am partially blind. I hate liars not just because lying sucks, but also because I can not understand the whole lying process when truth is soooo much easier to remember. I cry at all movies, as well as commercials, sad songs, and even the kindergartner play when they dressed up as a Christmas train at my children's school simply, because it was cute. It didn't matter that I was there to see my first grader's class sing and I don't even have a kindergartner. I have faults and I admit to all of them. I am neither holier than thou or judgmental but there are some things that I will not put up with and there are some things that I stand up for.
I Stand For:
The belief that everyone is beautiful. That's right, everyone. No matter your skin color. No matter your waist size. No matter your religion or beliefs. No matter your financial situation. No matter your hair style or fashion sense. No matter your tattoos, or piercings, or body modification. No matter who you love. No matter your choice in music. No matter your I.Q. Especially if you are mentally ill. Everyone is different and magnificent. We are the colorful paintbrushes that paint the sky at dawn. We are shades of blue and red and orange and yellow. We light up the sky.
I Stand For:
Always being as truthful as possible. I hate liars because it is lost on me why we can't just be honest. I hate to be manipulated and lied to... It sucks! Stop doing it!! I am terrible at fibbing or talking out of both sides of my mouth. My mouth simply refuses to work that way and so does my brain. Just be truthful and multiply. (bad pun, sorry)
I Stand For:
Being an advocate for mental illness. Because I suffer from mental illness. Because mental illness does exist and just because some people want to pretend it does not, doesn't make it the truth. I was told yesterday that I was promoting death and disease by talking about mental illness. And that it doesn't exist. No one needs therapists or medications, they just want you to fail at being happy. That I just need to be happy. And because I didn't subscribe to his bountiful logic, he ended with the comment that I would be swallowed up by the universe and to have fun with my nightmares.. .... .....
And I guess that's true. If by promoting death you mean, I am writing blogs on why not to kill yourself, because we all matter and are important even when we think we aren't. And if by promoting disease you mean, the fact that I write about how I have OCD and I am terrified of germs and contamination to the point that I carry more hand sanitizer in my purse than a hospital carries medical gloves. Or that I tell people to reach out for help because no one deserves to suffer in silence, or feel like they are alone in their suffering. Or because I tell them they can get through this day by day because they are strong. They are magnificent. They are warriors.
I mean, I guess he could be right...right?
As for the nightmares, I am not too worried about that statement, simply because my nightmares have haunted me for thirty years. I guess that's what it was that has made my life hell, not a mental illness, because obviously they don't exist , but nightmares have caused all of my intrusive thoughts and general lack of self confidence. It couldn't be my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's just nightmares that I have to fear..
Listen bud, don't come at me with talk of nightmares. I have lived nightmares for thirty years that would make your hair curl and your heart scream. It is a nightmare to wash your hands so much they crack and bleed and yet they still don't feel clean enough. It is a nightmare to have to be afraid of everything because you trust nothing. It is a nightmare to believe that germs are going to kill you if you touch a door knob, a bookshelf, somebody else's pen. A nightmare to be afraid that you may have accidentally poisoned your loved one's food because you cleaned the counter three days ago and maybe the cleaner has somehow gotten into the food and you cant throw it out yet again, so you have to sit there and watch them eat it, praying to God it isn't going to kill them. Nightmares are intrusive thoughts like holding a pair of scissors and being forced to see yourself stab your loved one six times in six different ways over and over again in great detail until you throw down the scissors because you are afraid you are capable of doing it, even though you are not. A nightmare to doubt things you know you didn't do but your mind insists you did so you have to constantly mentally test yourself. Does this turn me on... did I like that... Will I do this...ect. Having your mind make you doubt your own sanity while still being sane enough to know that it is slipping away is a fucking nightmare. Nightmares have tucked me in at night as a child. They have helped me reach the toothpaste when I was too short to reach the counter. They helped me with my homework. They walked me down the isle. They help me with the grocery list in the store. Hell, nightmares handed me my bra this morning so I could get ready for the day. You want to talk about having fun with my nightmares pal, you are about thirty years too late. Nightmares don't scare me anymore. That ship has sailed. My nightmares made me a better fighter. They made me strong, they made me a warrior, they made me fearless and I kicked their ass. Nightmares are only shadows from the coat rack and little kids fear of the boogeyman. I have seen the boogeyman and he pales in comparison to mental illness. I was not impressed....
I Stand For:
Not being ashamed. I refuse to cower, cow toe, bow down, or hang my head in shame because I have a mental illness. I refuse to ignore the fact that in runs in my family. I refuse to be embarrassed or ignore my family members that also suffer. I openly tell people I have OCD and I openly tell people about my family's struggles with mental illness. I refuse to keep it a dirty little secret. Secrets keep you sick and there is nothing dirty about us. There is nothing dirty about mental illness. Mental illness is NOT a dirty word. I walk with my head held high and if that makes you uncomfortable, then too bad. I have learned to accept it and so should you. Either that or get out of my way. I more have important things to do then be ashamed.
I Stand For
Ending stigma and discrimination. I hate it. I hate the way some people (ignorant people) act when confronted with the topic of mental illness. All of the old cliche's come rushing to the surface. We are dangerous. We are freaks. We can't control ourselves. We should all be locked up. We are incapable of doing anything of worth.We are worthless. We are scary......Please someone get these people some facts! Contrary to the popular media hullabaloo,the leading cause of violence is not mental illness! In fact, people that suffer from mental illness are twice as likely to be victims of a violent crime rather than commit one. We are not incapable of being productive. Abraham Lincoln (depression), Howard Hughes (OCD), Winston Churchill (depression), Ludwig Van Beethoven (bi-polar), dancer Vaslov Vijinsky (schizophrenia)... are just a tiny few of the humongous list of people that suffered from mental illness that changed the world. Changed the way we think, the way we read, the music we listen to, and the way we view art. They were not unproductive and neither are we. We are not dangerous, or freaks, or scary. We are simply people that are misunderstood because of ridiculous bias and news media wanting to promote something evil and scary to sell papers or get ratings or to blame so other people can rest easier at night thinking that only mental illness is the root of all violence. We are just people. Beautiful, talented, creative people that suffer from an illness. No different than diabetes or high cholesterol. No one runs from a diabetic with wary glances and mouths agape. It is a sickness, people...in our minds. It doesn't automatically make us rabid maniacal beasts with no self control or crazed glassy eyed maniacs drawing on the walls with our own feces while shouting obscenities at an invisible force in the corner. Not all mental illness is like that and no mental illness is like that when treated properly. Come on guys, give us a break and learn the facts. Sheesh.
I Stand For:
My blog. It's mine, and I work on it constantly. I have put blood, sweat, and tears into this thing. It has become my outreach, my friend, my diary, my therapist, my priest, my source of inspiration, my self esteem giver, my confessional. I pour out my heart and soul about things that are going on with me personally and how I feel about them. I write about mental illness. AND not just my mental illness but mental illness in general and the stink of stigma that permeates all over it. That is why it is called I am Neurotic and I Need Help and not I am Hungry and I Need a Burger. Neurotic means neurosis which in turn should indicate the subject matter of mental illness. It is not a blog about food, or smelling sheep farts in Scandinavia. It's about my fears, my hopes, my dreams, my inspirations, and sometimes even my failures. Point being, it is my blog and I stand by everything I say in it. It may offend some people. Some people may be uncomfortable with the subject matter. I am, however, not sorry about that. This is my blog and if you don't like it then you don't have to read it. I refuse to be censored.
So here I am. This is me and I stand. I stand for acceptance and truth. I stand for ending of stigma and discrimination. I stand for understanding and love. I stand for the ending of suffering in silence. I stand for compassion and knowledge. I stand for not being ashamed of who we are and what we suffer from. I stand for reclaiming our self confidence and self respect. I stand for dropping the cloak of guilt we are all used to shrouding ourselves in. I stand for being fierce and fearless and educating the truth about mental illness. I stand for you and I stand for me and everyone else out there that suffers. I stand. Will you?