The last couple of days, I have been watching a dear friend especially struggle with her mental health. She had only recently come back to a place where she could admit to herself that she needed help again, and was very brave about going and finding a psychiatrist and trying to address her problems. And it looked like it might be working out, but as many of us know, sometimes the drugs just don’t work. She is in that boat, and is having a very hard time paddling ’cause the medical professionals keep stealing her oars. She’s being treated as if she is not a valid witness to her own experience, or that she cannot possibly be as bad off as she says because she’s managed to use willpower to stay afloat, and I can hear in my head — why bother?
Mind, I’m certainly not saying she or anyone should give up. I am doing my best to be an ardent and loving supporter, because I appreciate that this is all very hard for her right now and it pains me to see someone I care for suffering. But it also made me think — how many of us have slammed against ‘Why bother?’ points? As I said a few months ago when explaining my diagnosis process, the hospital lost my diagnosis, and it took me another year to find the strength to fight against the same stupid doctor trying to give me the same line of bullshit again. I’m grateful that it worked out fast in the scheme of things (it takes, on average, ten years to get a bipolar diagnosis), but it was very hard, ESPECIALLY atop having to learn how to actually be a patient after growing up with no healthcare (USA! USA! USA!).
I think about these things, and I wonder how any of us have made it to a safe(-ish) point. I wonder how we can help others to safety when society demonizes mental illness as ‘faking’ or ‘being a drama queen’, or when the services aren’t accessible or affordable. Hell, I even wonder how, being ‘safe’ and ‘better’, why I can only think around this issue because it still risks pulling me under.
I just wish.
I just wish..
I just wish…
Well, I don’t know what I wish. I don’t wish life were easier. I don’t wish I were normal. I guess I wish that I and others could put the burden down sometimes, or let other people walk in our shoes to understand that it’s fucking hard all the fucking time (pardon my language, but emphaticness calls for the f-word).
I guess I can ask y’all to join me in thinking good thoughts for my friend? That’s probably a good wish for today. And of course, my usual wish that all of y’all out there are having a good one.