nine: you dislike the 14th, right? jonghyun: yeah, i do. i’ll say it again: i dislike it. it’s commercialism. is there something about may 14th? (pause) … oh wait, that’s today. nine: it’s rose day. (source: cosmicsticks)
Man… I wish there was an apparel like mists and smokes and stuff. Like I mean the mystical candles do a good job but I want the full on wisps of black smoke with embers floating in them, odd arcane sparks and purple mists, white and cold with tiny sparkles as if there are ice crystals in there…
I want thick steam and floating clouds of pollen, and clouds…
A strange haze with faint spores glowing, the kind that thickens and disorients,
The odd dreamy cloud mist…
A Different Look at Mental Illness and Chasing Dreams
So I recently read an article online about a young woman who struggled with her own intelligence and the way her past decisions influenced the way people viewed her. The author of the article, Megumi Tanaka, talks about how people perceive her differently due to her educational background. Sometimes, people she meets assume she is less intelligent. She goes on to talk about how intelligence is not based on how much you actually know- it’s about the capacity to learn and understand.
The further I got into the article, the more I thought of how intelligence relates to mental illness, and then how mental illness relates to how a portion of today’s society view people with diagnoses of that kind, and then the way people diagnosed with mental illness view themselves.
When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in October of 2014, it didn’t really hit me until a few weeks later. I was laying in bed, listening to music, surrounded by my hallucinations (at the time, the demons), and for once I was able to ignore them, even if only due to the sudden realization that this diagnosis was serious. From that day on until at least two years later, I would sometimes stand in front of the bathroom mirror and just stare at myself for a minute or so. I was fine with myself physically, but I was so destroyed that behind the face I was looking at someone who was really, really messed up. The seemingly eternal struggle to get a grip on reality and get away from the world around me that schizophrenia was constantly creating for me was one of the biggest battles on the road to recovery (I’ll likely do another blog post on this topic in the future).
Now, fast-forward to February 2015. I was a patient at a psychiatric ward- I was admitted for suicidal thoughts. I think that that period of hospitalization was one of the most bizarre weeks of my life (again, probably doing a separate post on this). When I was in the ER for evaluation beforehand, my urine results came back as positive for PCP- turns out, the pill Lamictal can cause a false positive on a drug test for PCP (I didn’t know that at the time). So when I saw the doctor at the psych ward, I told him “I’m not schizophrenic! Someone is giving me PCP to make me look like I am.” He said, “I don’t think you are schizophrenic, either. You are an overachiever.”
And that, my friends, is a statement that still baffles me to this day. My interpretation of it is that schizophrenia is dooming, according to him. That if I had this illness, I was not supposed to have dreams. I was not supposed to be working on a college degree. That I was supposed to be inept and incapable. Because of my vision for my future, I could not be schizophrenic, and he saw me as depressed, maybe bi-polar, with some psychotic symptoms.
Turns out, yes, I do have schizophrenia. But guess what else I have? Dreams. A college education. The semester of school where I was taking three classes (including a grad school level class) as well as dealing with severe psychosis? I got straight 4.0’s. I am in love with the most wonderful, loveable guy I’ve ever met. And now, I have a job interview on March 20th (and I’m so, so excited about it!). Certainly, there’s no guarantee that I will be offered the position, but even having the interview means the world to me and tells me that my life is going in a positive direction.
Sure, my dreams are different now. Sure, I had to drop out of college later on due to schizophrenia and medication monitoring. Sure, at the time of that hospitalization my relationship with Matt was still fairly new. And sure, there have been times where I thought I’d never even apply for a job again.
Turns out, dreams change. And sometimes, they change quicker than flipping a coin. That’s alright! It’s ok! And sometimes, people will tell you that you’re not fit to achieve your dreams, for whatever reason. People try and place this odd cloud of doubt over people whose struggles that don’t understand, or for decisions and life experiences they don’t approve of. People will try to crush your dreams so that you will fit their picture of what you should be like.
Don’t listen to ‘em. Go towards your dreams, as ever changing as they may be. You CAN get that college degree- doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get it- you are filled with the power to succeed, even if you don’t know it yet. You CAN have a successful career- maybe it’s not the same as the one you wanted when you were younger, or maybe there’s a lot of bumps and roadblocks along the way, but you can absolutely do it.
Mental illness is not YOU. You are you, and mental illness cannot take that away. Don’t listen to the doubts, whether they are from outside forces, or forces within you- because you are capable of anything.
When she was about seven or eight, a few years after they had arrived in Villenueve, Maurice gave Belle a small but meaningful Christmas present: the ring that she would later wear on her pinky. It belonged to her mother, and she cried for almost an hour after opening it. She used to wear it around her neck on a ribbon until it would fit her finger. She can’t remember the color of the ribbon anymore, nor what else she got for Christmas that year, but she’ll never forget the feeling of loss and love that filled her as she cried in her father’s arms, clutching the ring to her little chest.
I tried so hard for us. I tried to find the needle in the haystack. I tried to find the ray of sunshine breaking through the cloudy sky. I tried my best to make us okay. To make us better. You never tried once. And eventually, I stopped trying, and we stopped working. Funny how they say “try your best,” but even my best wasn’t good enough.
11:06pm thoughts// try, try again, but when do you finally stop?