Mental illness is real. It’s not something you can just wish away. It’s not something you can just decide to have a good attitude about. It’s not something you can ignore. Oh how I wish it was.
There are times when you’ve fallen asleep with no worries, and then you wake up from a nightmare, positive that someone is in your house. You leap out of bed in a panic and frantically check every lock, pacing and checking.
Some people have a significant other to calm them down. I don’t have that person.
So I wake up screaming and then run around and check the locks, terrified that someone is already in the house. Keep in mind that there’s nowhere in here to hide if you’re a human. Doesn’t stop me from checking behind the shower curtain again before I go back to bed.
I don’t even know if I have someone I trust enough to call when it’s really bad. If I’ve called you and sounded manic and crazy, it’s a precursor to something really not good, and I thank you for taking my call. There’s a good chance you actually saved my life. I’ve tested out a few of you to see if you can be trusted to actually show up and save me. I’m not criticizing because you all have your own lives, but so far, I’m not sure that I’m not alone in this. Some of this is the depression telling me that you don’t care. Some of this is evidence based.
“Hey elm, are you ever going to write about Cosmo again on your blog? That was fun and this is depressing sometimes.”
I don’t even remember the last time I got an issue of Cosmo. I do remember taking the last couple that showed up straight to the recycling after taking a couple of notes. You know what’s depressing? Having someone tell you that your depression is boring and they’d rather read about that guy you fucked in 2011. Yes, the sex was amazing, yes I miss having him in my life. But he is my past. I’m trying to move forward. Anyway.
I have 9 tattoos. One is a semicolon on my left wrist/forearm. As is true of most of my tattoos, this was done on a whim, and it means more to me than any of my other tattoos. It means that my story isn’t over. There’s more to come after the break. Project Semicolon was created by a woman named Amy Bleuel. She created it after her father committed suicide. She suffered from her own mental illnesses.
Amy died on March 24th. She was a victim of suicide. Yes, a victim. Because while some people may say that she killed herself, I know that’s not true. Her depression did it. Her depression murdered her. The voices lied to her too many times. I get this. I hope her death was peaceful, and my thoughts are with her family.
I wish I’d had one second with her before she left. So I could tell her how amazing she is. How she is loved. How she has done such a thing and brought so many of us together. How we will continue to fight in her memory. I hope she knows, and I hope she is finally at peace and the voices never call to her again. Because if you take that step and you’re still tortured, then death is truly the worst thing.
But back to me (Because it is ALL ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEEE ON MY BLOG – okay that’s annoying even to me, but fuck it I’m leaving it in).
I have more friends than I ever would have imagined. I love you all. Really, I do. It’s why I say “Love you” when I end every phone call. It’s hard sometimes at work to condition myself to not say it. You never know when the last time will be, so you have to tell people you love them.
There are days when the razor is sharp and I’m ready to be done. But you pull me back in. There are days when I hope that I die in my sleep and don’t have to do the next day.
Today isn’t that day. Maybe tomorrow. But not today. Today I’m celebrating with my friends. I’m celebrating the life that Amy lived. I’m planning the next tattoo, the next time I’m going to hang out with you.
I’ll tell you that I love you, and I do.