Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been my favorite book since I was a child. It is one of the first full length novels I remember being read to me by my father, and the first that I read in its entirety myself. It is the only first edition that I own, and one of my most prized possessions.
I identified with Alice even at a very young age. She was always getting into trouble and wanted to escape her life. I did as well, though for much different reasons. There are times, even now, that I still feel the need to escape.
I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, PTSD, general depression, and severe anxiety. Currently, the only medication that I am prescribed for these issues are a beta blocker to be taken at night to help with the night terrors and an “as needed” benzodiazepine for anxiety. The beta blocker, I take every night, as the night terrors are crippling. The benzodiazepine, I try not to take unless absolutely necessary. I know the risks of addiction, as it runs rampant in my family, and do not want to take the chance of becoming addicted to the medication. The anxiety I suffer is crippling enough, I do not want to become dependent on a pill to get me through the anxiety attacks that I have.
I just read an article here by another user where she had a board meeting of sorts in her head with all of her illnesses. That’s what prompted me to write this. She used a humor of sorts to describe what it is like to try to get your mental illnesses to work with one another, and your own mind, in order to make your life work. I had to chuckle at certain parts, not at her troubles by any means, but because I could understand exactly what she meant. I even left a comment, “Get out of my head!!”.
Living with mental illness is not a joke, but if you can’t laugh at yourself sometimes, you’ll end up curled in a ball in your bed, a corner in your room, somewhere, bawling your eyes out. Or screaming at the world, or your partner, or someone. Trust me, I’ve done all of that as well. I did it yesterday. I spent the morning curled in a ball, wishing I was dead. Hating myself for words that I said to my husband, words that I can never take back. Right now, I am waiting for him to get home from work so that we can “have a talk”. Yes, he said the dreaded words. We need to talk.
I have no idea what he is going to say. He may tell me that our relationship is over. He may tell me that I need to go back to therapy. I probably should. I haven’t successfully gone in years. My anxiety makes it where I can’t leave the house most days. That’s why I write. I can do that from home. Well, I love it as well, but that’s not the point.
Mental illness is a fucking bitch. There are days that I think I’ve kicked its ass. I’m happy. I can smile. I can function like a “normal” human being. I cook, I clean, I shower, I talk to people. Then, there are days/weeks like recently. I don’t leave my room, I’m wearing the same clothes for days on end, I argue with my husband over the dumbest shit for days on end, I lash out at him for things he did months/years ago that should be left in the past, I refuse to bend, and I break myself and others.
I allow my past abusers to win. I allow what has broken me before to come back to haunt me and put me in an almost catatonic state and break me once more. And I have to learn to break the cycle. Before I ruin the good that I have now. Before it’s too late.
We may all be mad here. But I have to learn to allow my madness to be something that brings a smile to the face of those I love, not tears and sadness.