Mental illness is the only true equalizer. At the “behhaavioral health” centers there were people of all shapes and sizes and socio-economic groups and hair color. We were all brought low by bipolar, major depressive episodes and schizophrenia. Most of us had made a suicide attempt. There were a few of us (like me) that were steps away from dying by suicide that walked through the door before they came to that point. All of us were sick. We were brought low. Money or brains couldn’t buy our way out. Age, charm, athleticism: None of it mattered. We were suffering from incurable illnesses. We were all mentally ill.
We hated it. Most of us hated ourselves. We felt boxed, like we were drowning, and like we were lost in a giant labrynth. Things were bad and we hadn’t the tools to make things better.
We were given guidelines as to what it takes to be, get and stay well. They were basic: take your meds, drink a lot of water, drink no alcohol, eat regularly, exercise, go to bed at the same time each night and sleep at least seven hours. Get a low-stress job. Problem is, we either didn’t know how or didn’t want to do these things. “Normal” people stay up as late as they want watching t.v. or dancing in clubs. “Normal” people can enjoy a few drinks with friends after class. “Normal” folks don’t have to exercise. “I just want to be NORMAL.”
Shocking, but you’re not normal. You never were and you never will be. You might blend in, but your heart will always be tender, your path will always be on a grade. You’ll always have to pass on the champagne. If you don’t….
There will probably be depression and you may put yourself at risk for suicide. No one wants that.
I started this food journal on Monday. I am eating a varied diet, one without sweeteners of any kind (except for fresh fruit), no caffeine, no processed foods (including bread and pasta) lots of meats and veggies, lots of eggs, no juices and lots of spices.
I already go to sleep about the same time every night and I quit drinking five years ago. I have been working out but not regularly. I haven’t reached that step, yet. I take lots of medicine and I take it regularly. I also recently discovered the joys and victories of a B-100 supplement. (I am NOT recommending it to you – I am NOT a doctor and NOTHING I SAY should be interpreted as medical advice.) I’m hardly shaking anymore.
My life is better. My life is even good. Can you say that?
I attribute that to the schedule I’m set on, the diet I’m on, and the new drug and vitamin therapies. I am good! I feel good! I am having to do things in a highly structured way, but this new situation is freeing me to create, love and be. It’s beautiful and wonderful. I wasn’t fit to take all this on at once, and neither are you, but to take the tiny steps towards this and a beautiful, free live is a reckless act of bravery that will change everything for the better.