One person's journey surviving mental illness and recovering from substance abuse.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Today's Daily Om says, "Interacting peacefully with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from." The article talks about people being in their own "universes" and how you need to approach each one as unique.
I do try to follow this practice, but I'm sort of going through the motions. Recently I heard the expression "fake it til you make it." In other words, I "pass." You hear this term unfortunately sometimes when people talk about skin color - someone passes for white, for example. You may also have heard this term used in relation to mental health; it basically means that you pass for non-mentally ill. I'm what they call "highly functional." I just learned recently that there's even a diagnostic test for functionality and I have a number. I'm luckier than many in some ways, because I get told all the time that people wouldn't know I was mentally ill if I didn't tell them. That's at my best, though. It doesn't happen without a lot of meds and complete sobriety. I don't knock it though, and I don't press my luck. I'm fortunate that I can even be a bit creative with coherency
In my head though, it's another story. I still hear voices, for one thing, though not as often. And I'm palgued by delusions. They have nifty names like, "delusions of reference." Under the circumstances, I find it difficult to be in touch with reality enough to understand my own universe, let alone someone else's. I don't know the right questions to ask someone else about their perspective, because mine keeps shifting. I can be hanging around, acting normal, but I really want to be screaming, "this is not okay with me!!!" What, you might ask? I can't always tell for sure.
I'm extremely lucky to have a small, supportive family. I'm with them often enough that I can't always hold it together, and they are adept at helping me through the highs, the lows and the schisms. I even have a select core of friends who really care. Beyond that I have my psychiatrist and my therapist. After that, people start to get scary. I want to ineract peacefully, so I act like I'm at peace with myself. But I feel estranged from people, in general. I do much better with animals.