So many hands. So many different hands. Yet, they’re all striving for the same thing.
Watch the screen flicker. Once. Twice. Three times. A wave of color, forever flowing. So many colors, and yet so few. Like a rose. The rose of sanity, pure white in color. Flicker. Watch the petals change, the colors of the rainbow morph into each other. Red to purple and back again. A never ending cycle.
What do you see today?
Look at the TV guide as zombies claw at the screen. Rotted skin, barely attached to bone. The broken nails, striving to get out. Flicker. Another zombie. Flicker. A third zombie. One, two, three. Three bodies of decaying flesh and bottled insanity, screeching as they try to climb out.
There goes a picture frame, flying across the room. This woman just found out her husband was cheating on her with her sister. Another picture frame. A lamp. A clock. Feel the gun out in the open, the bullets rushing through the air. One, two, three. Three bullets implanting themselves into a liveless body, blood staining the carpet as it tries to escape.
The rose of sanity, forever changing. Forever wilting as the petals crumble to dust. One, two, three…
One last flicker of the screen, and it goes black. Waiting until tomorrow to begin. Another day. Another rose.
this was written on October 4th of 2004, before my eventual hospitalization. typically i do not publish things that were written in my private journals. but today is my exception.
society’s concept of mental illness is connected to one idea – a starch lunacy that lacks any form of rationality, that no one ‘sane’ can connect with and understand. behaviors that seem without meaning, ideas that seem impossible, responses to worlds that do not exist to the senses of others. these are the ‘others’, the crazy ones, the insanity that cannot be trusted and must be locked away. these are the ones who, if they attempt to speak up and portray ‘rational’ thoughts, are not to be believed. after all, they’re crazy. right?
and then, for those who are able to present rational and coherent thoughts, who can articulate themselves in ways that make sense to both the person speaking and to those that are listening, their mental illness either isn’t as severe as others or as the person claims it is, or they’re faking. for attention. funnily enough, if you ask, many times us crazy folk will tell you we don’t even want the attention to begin with, we just want to be left alone!
this sort of mindset turns society’s concept of mental health into a dichotomy, where mental illness is irrationality and incoherency, and ‘sanity’ is when one is able to articulate rational, coherent thoughts while maintaining a suitable level of functionality in everyday life. and this dichotomy ignores any possible levels in-between these concepts, as well as failing to address the fact that it’s blatantly wrong to begin with. the quote above, in stark contrast to my typical posts, is an example of how rationality and coherency doesn’t determine levels of mental health, be it whether or not one is mentally ill or how ‘severe’ that mental illness is (for them).
this dichotomy is one of the reasons why so many people with mental illness aren’t taken seriously, because people assume that it’s all about raving madly, lack of control and throwing cats out windows. people ignore that when they’re communicating with people, they’re not communicating with the mental illness itself. it is a part of us, but it does not define the entirety of us, and it varies just as much as individuals themselves do. it’s also one of the many reasons why many people with mental illness do not receive adequate care. a lack of recognition for anything outside of one’s preconceived notion of what mental illness entails, and a lack of recognition for the people affected, both by mental illness and others’ asshattery.
we’re not taken seriously when we seem sane, and we’re not taken seriously when we seem insane. what kind of twisted irony is that?