And it is an old refrain, to be sure:
They are just around because they feel sorry for you. They are around because they are worried that you’re going to hurt yourself if you’re alone. They do not enjoy you. They do not love you.
You are a burden.
(You said that to me once. I know I “forgave” you, but I do not forgive you. It is the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. Fuck you.)
This is what my nightmares sound like. And, if I am sleeping at all lately, I am having nightmares.
Most of the time it is really liberating and fulfilling to be as open as I am about my mental illness. Being willing to talk and write about what I experience makes me feel brave, and like maybe I’m doing something good with this bullshit hand I’ve been dealt. But sometimes the fact that everyone knows everything about me… it makes me feel tired and small and out of control. I do not have any secrets, and right now, I feel rubbed raw from the inside out.
It’s hard to be revealing about mental illness for me, because, once again, my irrational fear is that people are only with me to stop me from hurting myself. That there is this fear and responsibility that I have implanted in my friends, and that I have therefore created this unfair tether betwixt us.
And I know I know I know (I promise I know) that this is part of the lie of mental illness. Part of the deception of depression.
But it’s also just how I feel today, you know?
A lot has changed for me over the last few months, few weeks, few days… and my greatest fear right now is that I’m going to come out of it all alone. That this is what I deserve. What I deserve for being an inherently broken creature, for being a bad person, for being a monster.
I am very tired of the cruel things that my brain tells me. I am tired of what yours tells you also, because damn, you’re incredible.
I am tired for us all.
But, as I write this, of course, there is a familiar glimmer of hope, and a beautiful song in my earbuds, and of course it sings with Jim Henson’s voice, as it always has:
Life’s like a movie
Write your own ending
I haven’t done just what I set out to do yet, and that’s okay. That means I still have something to hold on to. And I have you beautiful weirdos, whom I do love so very much. And I think perhaps you love me back, and well, goodness. I will sit with my illness, and try to breathe it out, and I promise one day to believe you all again. Because I’ve come so close recently, and I want to keep going down this path. Down this path where I am loved and caught and held, and where I can do the same for you.
Happy New Year. We are going to be okay.
But first we’re going to get some goddamn rest.