I really had wanted to sit and to start to write my ‘story’ of mental illness earlier than this. I tried very hard to, but something stopped me each time from engaging in a first person narrative. I just couldn’t do it. It was frustrating me- why now, why not! I’ve been sitting with this task for a while thinking that my struggle was with self honesty or resistance to a vulnerability that I supposed telling my tale would bring.
All of a sudden though, I realized that it was much simpler than that. The problem I was having, was that “its” all already been said. Every story in Glimpses is a story about me…at least, to a fashion. Glimpses is like that, a ‘me too’ kind of thing….so with everything you’ve already read…just add ‘me too!’ and you will know where I have been! What’s left to say?
My story is already out there. It’s been written in every other Glimpses story I’ve been privileged to read by far more articulate people better able to keep it simple..keep it real. When I understood this, that my story was intrinsically about real and unreal, I was able to let go of the struggle. I then decided that instead of telling a story of what was, I would simply talk..to ‘you’ the reader as if I were talking to you face to face. This being the case, I wondered what I could possibly add to those story’s that would aid someone involved in research or study or what I could give to those who are simply and openly engaged in their own curiosity.
As is the hallmark of my way, I awaited the answer and in that listening, I imagined someone reading this, silently peeking through the window, from the world of the so called ‘sane’ to the world of the so called ‘insane’ and I wondered who they might be, what they are like and what it is they would be really looking for. Through this process of determining what and who to put fingers to keyboard for, I’ve realized and decided, that if I could or should share anything about what I have been through, then all I would or could reasonably share with any honesty is that for me, becoming ‘mentally ill’ was an experience with the sudden onset of an experience of “acute sanity”. It was the outward eruption of the voice of sanity that I carried all my life.
That takes some time explaining…but at root it is as simple and as difficult as that. I became ‘insane’ when I could no longer comfortably justify or tolerate the insanity of the world around me. When through the voice of sanity within myself, I could no longer deny I was human and sane…and living in an utterly inhuman and insane world. My experience of ‘insanity’ was a literal one, an experience of being at one with the terrible and beautiful force that is Sanity itself. It was Acute Sanity, so acute as to drive one mad.
At the peak of it, I had no control whatever over my mind thoughts or actions…it was that holistic. In my experience I went very abruptly from living as one of the projected – a person existing and surviving relatively comfortably within the projection of everyday comprehensions of normalcy and sanity – the fantasy- to somehow slipping behind or beneath an unseen screen or curtain, becoming for a brief moment, part of the projector itself. In that sense, mental illness for me was nothing less or more than a direct confrontation with sanity-the-energy, or if you like, the deity of Sanity.
That is exactly what is has been like for me to be ‘mentally ill’. It’s been a journey through the veil and into a different form of ‘saneness’. Within this space and time, and instead of sane/sanity being just a concept, a marker of rationality reason or a philosophy, sane had become Sanity, an entity, a force, a presence, stemming from the Absolute itself. This experience with Sane as ‘the absolute entity of sanity’, was the defining one of my ‘ill health’, When, by society’s standards I became ‘ill’ and insane it was no small irony that within myself, I was for the first time…becoming ‘well’ and sane.
There was a brief moment when I suddenly understood the paradox, and essentially, I went into a state of shock. The mental paralysis was deafening. Breakdown for me was the point when I could no longer accept ‘sanity’ by society’s definitions as anything more than the false projection it was, yet I was compelled to utterly succumb to sanity as the world knew it in order to stay alive at all. It’s a terrible thing to experience alone, but is also something today I feel can only be experienced and survived, from within that state of radical isolation. You can analyze that brief description of my ‘short period’ psychosis all you like. You can re describe it to yourself, label it, analyze it, it define and demarcate the lines within it and supply those lines with colorful attributes and labels.
Frankly…you can do whatever you want with that little revelation and understanding. It’s not a new one. It was what it was and that said, I hope one day it will not need to matter too greatly to you either. My hope is that you won’t dismiss it though. That you will simply be able to listen to what it is and is not saying, without passing judgment. I should leave it there…as there really isn’t anything more to add that isn’t ego centered and would only serve to re inform you of what you must already know by rote by now.
Everything else in my life it seems either led up to that point or has stemmed from that one moment. Everything else that has happened since then, has been a result of my own and your own (collectively speaking of the professional body) misinterpretations of what happened…the by products of our mutual fearing of it…or our utter misunderstanding of it. Such is the nature of my dis-ease though, that once I start, I cant stop writing until it all has been said…that is the way of my newly undisciplined self…and so, unwilling to interrupt the flow of it..
I will continue. I suppose at least I could tell you about the In’s and Outs of that ‘everything else’…the usual delusions masked as destiny, the entrapments, the lies of ego. I could speak with you about fumbling fearful medico’s, the disease of indifference, diagnosis in the absence of diagnosticians. I could even talk to you of inhuman treatments; best guess pharmacology, the confusing but beautiful momentary distractions provided by the compassionate few and tell you inspiring stories of the precious and few attentive caring individuals that left me blown away by their commitment and grace. But I won’t.
I could describe as others already have before me, the soul destroying numbness of drug therapies, and other judgments posing as medications, the nightly terror of hallucinations, the ongoing wars of delusion between Gods, human conscience’s and men. Of the sheer human terror of loosing what little grip I possessed on mind. I could share cognitions of future, tell of the bright spaces and the empty darkness (that’s not so empty after all). I could report to you the hours and months spent crying…of mourning and ancient sorrow.
I could tell you about the pain of forfeiting the fight, the bloodiness and the shame of self deceit and repentance and walk you through the horrible isolation of being unable to explain the inexplicable, not even to myself…of simply not knowing. But I won’t. And worse, I could speak to you of watching all this from within, the story of a trapped consciousness, of being wide awake and yet utterly powerless as it all, in humiliating slow motion, ‘goes down’. I could tell you tales of my own well being usurped by forces unseen and of being overtaken by unseen faces of my life and of life beyond human personality, give you an explanation of the puppetry that is human experience.
I could speak of being left adrift and abandoned, alone in dangerous places. I could ensnare you with secrets of the sudden cessations, sorties of faux control. Talk of the nature of truths, of the fatal finality of rejection and the too transparent desire of and for the Nothingness and I could whisper to you about the expulsion of spirit, the fall from Grace and the not knowing, the Knowing, and terrible, terrible fear. But I won’t. I could describe in detail the moments of lucidity marked by ‘what the hell just happened’, of an intensity of clarity and latent individualism that leaves you breathless in the momentary possession of Unity and the unbearable responsibility of freedom and speak to you of the self hate that follows the loss of self control.
I could tarry with you about Gods laughing…religious obsession and the assumption of the absence of intuition and intelligence by those who should, but are too arrogant to know better. I could cry about the devastating results of discrimination to my soul and pride and self defeated Self. I could speak of the raw emotion of having your heart touch the ground…of having it ripped from you…of having it put back, squeezed, bloody and empty. I could try to explain to you the paradox of dying to save yourself and I could culminate all that with the story of ongoing awakening, of the revelation of the lie of acceptableness, and draw you to the current conclusion – that of a too soon and ultimately innocent and untimely discovery of the illusory nature of All…of the precarious insanity of sociology and my ignorant but ever present fear of the collective kick in the ass, that I know now is not only coming but violently inevitable.
But I won’t. I could do all that…or I could just say what really matters….try ease you back from the distractions of winding words and beg you with everything I have to focus on everything that really matters…implore you to see and to hear what really counts to anyone out there who is in or under your sphere of healing or care…try to plead and point you back to what should count and matter to anyone who genuinely wants to Know what it is really like…to anyone who wants, like so many of us, to “Help”. And that is; It hurts.
It really, really hurts to be ‘in sane’. Even for a second. It hurts more than anything has ever, ever, ever hurt before or ever, ever will. It is the most confusing utterly terrifying thing in the whole wide world. Without an ounce of ingratitude I can say now, that despite all the well intended interventions, the drugs, the labels, the intimations and intimidations, the negotiations and negations. Despite the ‘counseling’ and the correction, the rhetoric and the reconditioning….the sadness….all I ever really needed was a safe place, respect and time. Simple, no? Even now and even though that experience of the Sane was one that took less time than a blinking of an eye, the reality of the experience has lingered and continues to do so.
The gates that fell inside me when I unwittingly stepped through that veil between worlds- when I passed through the gate that lies between projections and projector -the innocence gone and illusions lost to me, the pain of separation experienced in my body, mind and spirit, the catalytic non consensual awakening it propelled, the pain and tearing…and yes, even the excruciating joy and ultimately, the survivorship of just that, make these experiences mine alone……in truth, they are ineffable.
Nothing I could ever write will explain to you the intensity of that one moment. I could not ever truly explain what has happened to me in a manner that would truly affect you or mean something to you beyond the end of this story – even if I wanted to. In that way, these experiences, for all their horror, are of the divine…they are Sacred. I don’t know any more than you ever will, why it all happened…what for…what truly propelled it or why it didn’t happen even sooner or later.
I could spend every minute of my life from here on in, in contemplation of what I have seen and experienced without ever once approaching a resolution, let alone aid you in a code of treatment or plan of action…or even a request for correct assistance. And I tried to do that…thinking that was the way to do it…to recover. I tried so valiantly to contemplate it all…to re-sort and re-organize it…to adjust to it, to move on from it. But I can’t. I found it impossible and I am constantly compelled back to focusing on simple survival, with a need for that simplicity, as real and as great as any cave mans necessity.
Today, by consequence not choice, I just am…I just live. I don’t try to control my perception of it or anything….I find myself unable to assert even that base control. I’m not sure even if that were possible that I would want to…and unlike many I don’t feel the urge or want any longer to run out there in the world and ‘help’ others like me either. I choose not to assume in that manner today. I accept I do not know what I do not know.
I do genuinely think that the best thing I can do as a person is to just be here, maybe just to applaud as others go past and most importantly, to simply notice them – notice those who are experiencing ‘this’ touch of Sanity in an insane world…or whatever it is…to simply recognize them as they pass and be respectful of the need for silence from ‘us’. The aware human peanut gallery.
There is an essential necessity in ‘this’, that we do not add to the burden or confusion, that we explain what we must explain, simply…clearly…and intelligently, in Loving trust and with the acceptance and grace that only humility provides, that we must never presume to know for another, how it really is. And it is in that respect for the experience and its uniqueness, for both what it is and what it isn’t, that I am silent today. I choose to let those who are experiencing this be…as I am now let be.
To simply Love, to Love us who are capable of accepting that we do and don’t understand and instead I choose to collaborate with the like minded, not through examining the minutia of a shared and inexplicable experience, as much as value and enjoy the simple camaraderie in the shared state of being, a near macabre but ultimately joyous celebration of that which we are…and we are…at least according to this worlds definition……the “Mentally Ill”. After all….when you take away the window dressing labels and packages, what really matters is.. that it hurts, it hurts more than anything has ever, ever hurt before and all that is needed from you, from us, or anyone is simply a safe place, respect, and Time.