As I type these words, it is 1:56 AM. The latest I’ve stayed up in a very long time. The hum of the fan in the hallway outside my bedroom is the only thing breaking the stillness of the night.
Until now, I’ve been sitting at my desk, mindlessly removing the gaudy embroidery from a bag I bought years ago while The Office played in the background.
I’m not sad. Not happy. I’m in that weird limbo where you really don’t feel anything. And in that limbo, there’s a tinge of mysterious heartbreak and a bit of melancholy in the back of my throat, waiting for the right moment to unleash itself into my world.
I’ve started recovery for my mental illnesses. Well, I’ve started real recovery. I’m making strides in getting things back to the way they’re supposed to be. I’m starting to function above baseline. I started to function at all. And it’s been great and overall I’m proud of myself, really I am.
However, your brain doesn’t like to give up easily.
Since mine is programmed with these illnesses, they don’t just want to leave. And in a way, though I use my skills and try to keep the thoughts they bring in the back of my head, I don’t want them to leave either.
In a sick and twisted way, they have become Home. They have become safe. And it is easier not to fight. To let them have their way and for me to retreat to the comfort of my bed.
After so long of just letting these things exist in my head with no way of knowing what to do about them, they’ve tricked me into believing that they are what’s best.
“Don’t fight” they say. “You know us so well” they say. “After all of this time you really think you can just move on?”.
To be clear, I don’t actually have voices in my head. But I’ve found that it’s easier for people to understand what you mean if you personify the illnesses.
Maybe it’s an utterly ordinary part of the process, but the farther I move away from the lifestyle of someone with depression or anxiety or the many other things I have diagnoses for, the less I trust recovery. It all feels as though it could come crashing down at any moment. It could leave me at square one, stuck in one spot reaching for pieces of myself just outside my grasp.
And it’s all terrifying.
So wouldn’t it just be easier to keep things the way they’ve been? To let myself wallow and live in pajamas? Watch homework and laundry pile up until their piles topple over?
Maybe in times like these, late at night when I can’t sleep, that seems to be the answer. Because recovery is exhausting. It’s a lot of work. But in reality, when I step out of my head for a minute, I look at myself and see how far I’ve come. And if I look out into the distance, I can almost see the life of the girl I thought I’d be at 15.
I want that. I want my life.
My life. Not the life that these illnesses have laid out on the table for me. Not one ruled by an abstract Stockholm syndrome or fear of change and the unknown.
I’m tired of letting my illnesses be my defining characteristics. I am not them. They are not me. They are not Home. They are not safe. I know that I can get better. And I want a life where I am better.
Thank you for reading
See ya soon!!!