In a world that is terrified of mental illness, we are trying to get through our lives as peaceful and happily as possible. It is no easy feat. We are surrounded by dark shadows everywhere. Shadows that threaten to swallow us whole and make us invisible. These shadows are not like the ones from the sunlight bouncing off of buildings. These shadows are devoid of light, devoid of warmth, devoid of anything good life can offer. These are the shadows of nightmares and horror stories. Black swirling ravenous masses of matter. They reach for us in our darkest moments. Whispering our fears deep into our souls. These shadows leave your skin cold to the touch and your breath frosted. These are killers of dreams and hopes. These are the lies we tell ourselves. These shadows are stalking our every move. These are the shadows of us. We are surrounded by a thick fog that threatens to cloud our minds and make us forgetful. Forgetful that there is a life to be lived outside of our mental illness. This fog gags and chokes us. It blinds our eyes and suffocates our senses. There is suffering. There is loneliness. There is silence.
These people are my sisters and my brothers. They are more me than anyone one on a magazine cover or a news broadcast. We may all have different disorders but we are all dealing with the same issues. Stigma, fear, feeling lost, betrayed by our minds, frustration, confusion, sadness.
We all have scars we can talk about. We all have tattered souls and shredded emotions. We are all terrified of the same things.
I read once that schizophrenia is like living with a rat in your brain gnawing away. I do not have schizophrenia but I totally understand this reference If a rat in your brain is what schizophrenia is like than I would say OCD is like having a very loud pissed off drill sergeant in your head. He yells in your ears and makes sure to spit in your face as he does. He is a demanding, angry, little man. Always demanding or wanting something and nothing ever pleases him. To not please him means anxiety and fears. More unwanted images and thoughts. More yelling in your head. More compulsions. More doubts.
We are all, no matter our mental illness, brothers and sisters. Who understands what this is like besides us? I don't have to have a rat in my brain to totally understand how that feels. I don't have to balance on a high wire with no net underneath to understand the fear of falling. I get it on a better level than a normal person. I experience the same emotions. I have had the same fears. We, the mentally ill, know what it is like for others to suffer the same issues. We are sisters and brothers. We are the same.
We are all afraid of the shadows. We have all fallen to our knees and begged for mercy at some point or another. We are all like broken winged birds, hopping around, looking for safety under the treetops. We have all been afraid of something, whether it be time lost, pain, fear of loosing the ones we love. Fear of judgment and rejection. Fear that we are not good enough. Fear that we are irreparably damaged. We all want to be held. We all want to be protected. We all want to be whole. We all want to be able to fly like the rest of the little birds.
We are sisters and brothers in our affliction. We are all exactly the same in our differences. Different from the rest of the world. Different from what we think is normal. Different from what we believe we could be. I understand the people with mental illness because I am one of them. I understand their pain because I have lived it. I understand what is like to be betrayed by your mind. I can not trust mine either. What I can trust in, is that I am not alone. I am not going to be sucked up by the evil shadows that stalk me. I can trust in the fact that I have support. That I am worthy. That I am a good person. I can trust that I am equal to everyone else. I can trust that we all deserve better treatment options and positive representation. I can trust that I am here reading comments and blog posts because that's what siblings do. We support each other. I support the mentally ill. They are many, they are strong and courageous, they are just as important as everyone else, they are my sisters and brothers.We are all the same.We are all the same [tweet this].