My mental illness is complex. I get told this all the time, with varying levels of frustration. It’s one of those phrases that I don’t think usually holds much meaning (in fact I think it normally represents fear from professionals/services rather than the person in question); however, today was one of those days that I talked, paused, listened, and subsequently thought that maybe it really is quite complex for me.
Because of my specialist placement alongside my long-term therapy, I have two clinical psychologists working with me in different (But complementary) ways. Today, the second session with the psychologist at my placement, involved her pointing out what recently the psychologist I had been seeing for a long time had also verbalised recently: I have very, very compartmentalised ‘bits’ that people generally consider form their whole selves, but that in me I naturally talk about as entirely separate entities. And even when this becomes the topic of conversations, I don’t feel strange, just have a sense of very strong acceptance that, yes, there are extremely distinct separate bits here…that there is never a ‘me’ but (most notably) a ‘body’, a ‘toxic-monster’, a ‘logical thinker’, a more ’emotional being’ (the only bit with a strong link, that link being to the toxic-monster)…just to name the prominent bits that stuck out today/to these psychologists at the moment.
I don’t really know what that means. I don’t know why there isn’t a me and just some weird bits grouped together that others see or presume is ‘me’. I don’t know if this is all an illusion generated by the toxic-monster. I don’t know if this is something important on that mystical road to ‘recovery’ or at least ongoing, bearable life. I don’t know if this even means anything at all.
What I do know is that it does probably class as ‘complex’ and that it is very tiring and difficult to attempt maintaining life like this, when one bit thinks killing another bit to be the only morally-correct thing to do, and nothing is particularly coherent or connected amongst the bits.
And maybe finally openly acknowledging these ‘compartmentalised selves’ is an important landmark.
(Or maybe not; as conflicting as these bits are reflects how conflicting the thoughts on this are.)