It can’t get much worse than that, right? At least you’re not wasting tissues. Wrong, it can get worse: the longest snot stalactite known to man could make an appearance, blowing in the wind until you have a snot scarf to match your tear balaclava.
This is the glamorous reality of my life with mental illness at the moment. The under-the-skin, behind-closed-doors, admit-to-noone stuff. Except I am admitting it here, because that’s reality and The Doodle Chronicles has always been about trying to help one person feel less alone or one loved one understand a bit more. And I’m afraid that this unpleasant, soggy, hopeless mess is what life with severe mental illness can be like at times, no matter what the public front says. And it’s important, because public fronts can be deceiving and dangerous beyond belief. Take, for example, my most recent posts to Facebook: decorating my summerhouse (big achievement, looks like I might be doing a bit better) and a picture my mum took of a butterfly on my face (outside! smiling!). These put on a great appearance to most people in my life, it’s only if someone digs deeper and I’m brave enough to answer honestly that they realise that things are a lot more awful than they look. There’s only one or two that I’d admit that things are worse than they’ve ever been before, that I’m hanging on by the very last thread, which is fraying by the second. And I’m not sure there’s anyone (actually, probably just one lucky person!) that I’d admit the whole tear-snot-puddle situation to…and that would only be if persistently probed!
I just wanted to shine a light on this issue once again: Mental illness isn’t necessarily detectable from the outside, no matter how serious it is or how hard you look.
I can be terrified, tortured and losing my grip on life with each passing second but still post this picture on social media:
I can be fighting arguments in my head about how I’m really an evil entity whose death would benefit everyone, or that I’m not a person but a sick illusion or that I’m a vessel for everyone’s pain who must be destroyed to free others from their suffering or that I don’t exist in any real way in the first place but the only way to end what I perceive to be my existence and suffering is to die OR that I have absolutely no idea what is reality any more, and can’t even trust myself after brainwashing by mental health professionals last year that every thought, feeling and experience I had wasn’t real. YET I can be talking about or posting on social media that I’ve been making pretty things:
Well done if you’ve made it through this twisty turny post! I have no idea if it makes any sense. I’ve got no idea about much these days. But I wanted to put this out there. It can’t hurt to add a voice to the fight for mental health awareness, even when you’re not sure you even have a voice any more!