I believe that the greatest tragedy of mental illness loss of free will.
During manic times my money disappears, boxes arrive in the mail, it is a hyper sexual roller coaster.
And the anxiety – fear of being meeting people, fear of going out, the fear of living… just wanting to hide, so afraid. The feeling like I have no friends.
Then the depression which comes in like a fog, where it is like being at the bottom of a well and the only light comes through a small opening in the top. Darkness is all around. I create art, from visions that I have, I paint them out. People say it is talent, but it is all I can do to survive… the paintings, have painted themselves, where I am only a medium and each work created is a cry for help.
The obsession… Are others talking about me behind my back? Does he/she like me? Why did this person make this comment…. I spend hours days obsessing over small slights. I cope by working out/running just to try and keep my mind together.
The point is that with mental illness, there is only feeling the challenge (Mania, Obsession, Depression, Anxiety) and there is the reaction, the coping. But somewhere in the mix, I loose myself, forget to live, like there is no free will. Where is the time to make friends? start a family? or do the things that I really want to do, when I am a slave to the feelings and reacting to cope. It is a cycle… I used to just pray for my end, then I got help, now I take medications… the artistic visions disappeared… but so did emotions which told me I was not worth living. 15 years later, through weekly therapy and medications I have earned my free will back.
And so my resolution for the new year is to enjoy my free will on earth, if I want to go into a restaurant, I do. If I want to draw, it is to capture a beautiful scene. If I work out, it is to improve my myself and not to stop ruminating thoughts. This next year I will be in charge of my mental illness. I will love others, I will allow myself to feel the love of others, I will advance my education as I have conquered my debilitating test anxiety, I will continue to help people as I will want to be helped. ( this included in the past year leading depression and bipolar meetings and other acts like pushing stalled cars from intersections, helping baby strollers down subway/el stairs, and helping others to change a tire) I will care for others and I will try to save others from the personal darkness which I have been born from. As I have learned that only through helping others can I be healed. I will live, because I want to!
I want to thank you all who read this and have helped me and I have had a chance to help, I wish you too an excellent 2011 because your deserve it.
<music link which I listened to as I wrote this>