Writing by the light of a door cracked open is the most honest one can get with oneself.
Especially when that door leads to the hallway of a psychiatric hospital.
These sessions of group therapy with the most interesting people you will ever meet, of all ages (given they’re over 18, sometimes well other) have been some of the most depressing, soul-crushing, tear-jerking, heart-wrenching, greatest times of my life.
Through cafeteria meals, shifts in medication, yoga, flower arranging, group sessions, fights with Mother Dearest over the phone, visits from my roommate, awkward pissing because the only thing separating me from my shared room was the “bathroom door,” which was really a curtain with a foot of clearance at the bottom...
Through all of this, I learned that the people with me, all from such beautifully different, often tragic walks of life, all shared one thing in common...
We’re fucking crazy.
Yeah, it sounds like a bad idea to put all the crazies, either a danger to themselves or others, in one place to talk and make friends with each other.
But the great thing is we understand each other.
We were all there for the same but weirdly different reasons...
We were there to recover from illnesses that sit in your head like gargoyles, crouching by your ears and vomiting lies, which you began to believe, making you paralyzed in bed or at the bathroom sink, too sick to move but too sad to stay standing there.
Yes, my legs, physically, can walk.
But the illness isn’t from the neck down.
The illness is in chemicals, detaching me, my brain, from the rest of my body so I can’t notice I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, sobbing and picking skin from my legs out of my fingernails, until a noise from my cellphone yanks me back into reality and reminds me that I have a life, which I am chronically prone to avoiding.
A life I didn’t want anymore.
November 23rd, 2015.
Life just got too hard to handle.
Six years of the illnesses had taken my life and turned it into a pool of thick glue.
Every day was just another day wading through it, still crusted and dirty with the glue that had dried onto my skin so many years, not enough days ago.
Peeling it off only left open wounds.
“One of these days,” I told myself, “the entire pool will dry.”
February 21st, 2016.
And now I’m here, learning that other people, in their strange little ways, can help me out of the glue.
Can help me pull away that which has dried, and tend to the open wounds rather than avoid them completely.
I learned that yes, I do believe in God, and no, I don’t have to let other people decide what that means.
I learned that carrying a stuffed animal doesn’t have to be childish.
I learned that people actually do, sometimes, enjoy my company.
I learned that, while being crazy is hard, and ugly, and unromantic, and sometimes a little pathetic, my unshowered, medicated, avoidant, tired, mentally-ill life doesn’t belong to anyone but me.
I may be crazy, but I’ll be damned if it hasn’t given me stories to tell, advice to give, and a heart that knows what pain feels like.
Insomnia gave me nights of giggling to myself at poorly-written comedies, and nights when the sounds of my sleepy hometown brought the muses to break depression-induced writer’s block, and so I created art until the world’s waking told me it was time for bed.
I am crazy. But crazy won’t own me anymore.
I will own crazy.
And I’ll make myself okay out of sheer spite.