Around six years old I watched the movie Mask. Not to be confused with Jim Carrey's The Mask, it was a movie about a boy who was born with a face deformity and it stared Eric Stolz and Cher. I absolutely love that movie and I had become obsessed with Cher. I thought that she was more than just an actress and singer. To me she was an ethereal being. She was a black leather and metal stud wearing, lip gloss slathered, tall and sinewy, butterfly tattooed on her derriere angel. I believed she was the most beautiful woman to ever walk the face of the earth.
I drew detailed pictures of her (stick figures with black scribbles as hair) on notebook paper and taped them all over my wall next to my bed. I even believed that one day I could grow to be a 5'8" tan woman with glossy jet black hair and smoldering brown eyes. I not only believed it but I was convinced. Much to my mother's chagrin of my constant idolization of her and all of her talents. My mother just wanted me to be happy with who I was. It never occurred to my six year old brain that as a strawberry blonde, dark blue eyed, freckled face, girl that no amount of plastic surgery or money could even make me resemble Cher in the least. She has beautiful blemish free tan skin. My skin is the bleached out white color after a wet band-aid is removed. She has the most amazing black hair and I was just sure that black hair would eventually sprout from my scalp and all of my red hair would fall away in jealousy. That obviously didn't happen. I felt that she was the take no crap from anyone kind of woman and yet if you fell and scraped your knee she'd stop to help you. I loved her and I guess I still do but not in the drawing pictures of her and taping them on my bedroom wall kind of way. At thirty four years old that would be odd and slightly creepy.
You have to admit at sixty six Cher is still rocking it out like the cool chick she is.
Now, what in Sam Hill does Cher have to do with my mental illness blog? Hmmmmm......well I really just wanted to share my childhood obsession with Cher. I do believe that it was the first star I ever really liked. I also believe it might have been my first obsessional thinking from my OCD on a person. Not in the creepy "I am a stalker" kind of obsession but just thinking about her and what her amazing house must look like kind of obsession. I was six, people. I still believed in unicorns for God's sake. Stop Judging me......
What Cher has to do with my mental illness is, I realize that even early on in my life I had a way out of control imagination and a ton of impractical dreams. After all, becoming a fairy princess pirate wearing pink tutus and ruling over the land of dreams while riding flying magical horses never came to pass. I never married Atreyu from Never Ending Story (the first one) as I was so sure I would. When mental illness came to be a huge factor in my life I was unable to do even the simplest of dreams. I was unable to complete high school due to huge anxiety attacks. Therefore my dream of being a college graduate also fell to the way side. That doesn't mean that I can never get my GED and go to college. I can when I feel well enough. I had to realize that some of my dreams, right now, are unreachable. Some of them are impractical at this moment. That does not mean that I can't ever accomplish them. It just means that I may have to wait ,at this time, for some of them. I also learned that the obstacles that mental illness has placed in my life has made me create new dreams that so far, I have been achieving. I may not be a swashbuckling pirate but I am a mental illness advocate, which contains verbal swashbuckling. I may not be a princess that rules over dream land but I am a mother who teaches her children that they can rule over their lives and be whatever they wish to be. I never married Atreyu but I married a wonderful supportive man that loves me "crazy" or not. I may not look like Cher but I am beautiful and talented even though I do not have a butterfly tattooed on my behind. I am sure my mother is relieved by that. My dreams are more practical now, but they are still worth achieving and I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I do.Sometimes my dreams are to write in my blog. Sometimes they are to reach out to those that suffer like I do. Sometimes they are just to have the will to get out of the bed in the morning. My dreams don't have to be out of this world to be good dreams. They don't have to be about fame for me to appreciate the life I have right now.
I have dreams and I have hopes. Mental illness can not take those away form me. [tweet this]. I may not have the same dreams I did growing up but I have the dreams and goals I set up for myself everyday. Every time I get up out of bed and and will myself to do my daily routine I have accomplished a dream. A dream where today I will be who I want to be. A strong person who stares in the face of my mental illness and says,"You can't have today. Today is mine for the taking and I am getting out of bed and facing it. Because I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be functional. I deserve to be me and all that entails". So my blathering about Cher actually is a good lesson for me. I don't have to be famous to be worthy. I don't have to be rich to be happy. I don't have to look like someone else to be beautiful. I am more than just a dream. I am reality and I rock.
And you know what? So do you.