Day 10: What is the best thing in regards to your mental illness(es)?
I wrote a fair bit about this on Day 4: https://balfourthrb.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/30-days-3-and-4/ , about empathy, creativity and the desire to fight harder than anybody else. So I won’t repeat too much, but do check that entry out if you want.
Well if you can’t get what you love
You learn to love the things you’ve got
If you can’t be what you want
You learn to be the things you’re not
If you can’t get what you need
You learn to need the things that stop you dreaming
All the things that stop you dreaming
Passenger, Things That Stop You Dreaming
At the moment, I am not feeling quite so positive about my mental illness. I feel that it is teaching me to be the things I’m not, to need the things that stop me dreaming.
You remember Gladiators on TV? There was one challenge where they had to crawl up a slide that was slippery and made it hard to stay up. I feel as though I am racing my mental illness up just such a slide and it is so, so frustrating watching it from behind as my fingers slip on the slope. It gets closer and closer to my dreams, waiting at the top for one of us to reach first.
So there it is again, the one positive. Because of my mental illness, I am a fighter. Other people have their own reasons to fight, their own methods of doing so. This is mine: I will not have my life ruined by something that is not my fault, and I will not be made to feel as though it is my fault when my grip falters and my eyes blur and the image of my dreams goes shaky at the top of a slide. I will work my way up and, if I have to, I will fight dirty. I will pull the T-shirt of my enemy to keep myself up. I will grow my nails and make tiny punctures in the slide to use as footholds.
I am determined. I don’t think people are determined if they don’t have to be. I have to be, so I am. I wish I didn’t have to be, I wish I could settle for half-arsed sometimes, I wish I could leave all this rage and this fight and this creeping doubt behind and run the hell away from it. But I can’t. I’m not built like that. I’m fighting hard, and maybe that is the best thing about my mental illness. Faced with something that could ruin my life, I refuse to turn the other cheek. I am summing up my strength to turn and slap it twice as hard, right back.