If you want to help someone going through a spiritual or mental health crisis, here’s a good starting point…it is better than I can put into words right now, because I just need to vent and get something off my chest, which I rarely do anymore, below:
I’ve felt like a fraud since the day my article on Elephant Journal went live because it’s about traveling, and truth be told that’s the last thing I’ve done in about 2 years time. Not because it’s how I wanted it, but because it’s just the way things are.
What was meant to be a good day, turned into a month and a half of worrying what people, who at one time were closest to me, thought. I can’t tell you the reasons I initially started out on my journeys, because you can’t fit a back story that spans reality, psychosis, travel and spiritual emergence into the space of 800 words. Let alone, my entire history. But I feared what they thought because I know that they have their own version of the story which only scratches the surface, because, again, they are not me.
And truth be told, they haven’t heard the half of it because I’ve been too ashamed to share it, in detail, until recently. While stable.
What I wrote about were the lessons I learned along the way and the essence I brought home with me; something many didn’t care to hear after I returned. Something I was silent about up until now. The one traveling experience I learned the most about myself was the most chaotic of them all, because I was highly manic. And most only choose to assume what they will never understand, regardless of my attempts to inform or share.
Everyone and their mother, except those that knew me best, begged for my return from this journey that I wrote about…immediately. Everyone. To come home. Home to what? More institutions? Depression and suicide? Anti psychotics that have little to no affect on my mania, until it has run its course? Their reality? A bunch of friends, family, psychiatrists and therapists, not of my chosing, that don’t even talk to me anymore because they fear what they refuse to try to understand?
And to think I thanked everyone. And here I am, alone. Again. Depressed and feeling like I am living less than half a life meant for me where no one communicates except through facebook, if at all. Do you have any idea what it’s like to lose so many close friends that knew you for years and almost your whole family in one fell swoop because of something you and medication (it turns out) cannot control? Something I’ve been dealing with in family members my entire life? Yet, it’s not okay for me?
It’s just a sick cycle that’s perpetuated by fear, past anger and disbelief, making those of us that suffer feel more misunderstood everyday, alienated and disregarded…when we’ve been screaming inside for years on end that they don’t see that there is so much more to it, something beyond the scope of out-dated psychiatric care. But no one listens. No one but those who have been through it.
I’d rather be alone somewhere where people actually celebrate me like I have tried to do for others. I don’t even have many people that tolerate me in person anymore, yet they haven’t even tried to see me after talking about me and leaving me. I haven’t even changed that much other than the fact I have a voice now and a story burning inside. From what I can tell, it’s because most cannot accept that people evolve and change and grow …sometimes, like wildfire, sometimes in spiritually expansive ways, or very abruptly. And, no, I’m still kind but I’m not the door mat I once was. Truth and I’ve demonstrated that, sometimes in ways I’m not proud of, but that’s only because I’m new to this.
It’s a two way street. And my way is a dead end now, because as soon as I get the back pay I deserve after butchering my life for it and for that which is beyond my control, I am leaving this town. It’s pointless to stay here. I’m literally dying a little more inside everyday from just silence and bitterness, alone.
I’m not tolerating this anymore. I’m bored out of my mind because I let myself slip into this idea that I’m the one that is broken and I need to be fixed…that I’m incapable of living up to our God given right to move into the brilliance that lies beyond labels, that it’s not acceptable to show your heart to everyone, or that my experiences are not ‘right’ or ‘practical’ because it’s not mainstream or because most refuse to believe or are deadset against validating or hearing me out because it is of a nature that they refuse to understand. It is too grand. Too crazy. Too idealistic. Too psychotic. Too unconventional. Too off the wall. Too brazen. Too dangerous. Too unknown. Too foolish. I don’t know. Too much of something.
Too much. I’ve always been too much or nothing at all. And this ‘nothing at all’ business will rot your soul faster than any manic or psychotic experience, whether traveling or not, ever will.
Silence. Anger. Shame. Misunderstanding. Fear. Mistakes and regret. Pity or embarassment. Intolerance. Guilt. This bullshit notion that something is right or wrong. Bipolar or not. These are no longer places I will live. I choose to live outside these walls because that is what makes me stronger, makes me shine and helps me evolve. I choose to see this in others almost everyday of my life and it blows my mind that I rarely get the same respect in return, unless I’m following a set rule of guidelines on how to appropriately ‘live my life.’
Never put a time limit on someone’s right to experience the fullness of life whether it’s extraordinarily beautiful, mundane, tragic or beyond that which you understand. Never rush someone’s healing. All it does is create wild mistrust, squelched voices, suppressed lives, prolonged healing and rage, which I experienced first hand. My rage was a direct reaction to their fear, anger and invalidation of any kind. I’ve been shut down emotionally, wandering through life as a voiceless ghost my entire life. There is no time limit…only our own that we mistakenly project onto others out of fear.
Never interrupt someone’s journey because you’re too afraid to take your own. It’s all-consuming, it’s beyond powerful, it’s wildly chaotic and it’s one hell of a breakdown before the emergence of your true, authentic self. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
Don’t tell me to come home.
I’m headed there.