Cover Photo: Strength  by Emily Metcalf

Strength

Somehow losing myself, fighting for solid ground against wells of grief and tears, forgetting my name, being caged and medicated, allowed me to find reality.

Illness is something many of us deal with. I speak and write about mental illness, but today I suffer from the flu. It is causing me to reflect. It is also a small capsule of the reality I deal with and have for the last twenty years struggling with schizoaffective disorder. I am realizing how isolated we become when we are sick. I become aware that all I have is myself, tendrils of spirit that reach out to me, and the cavernous identity that I hold everyday in delicate palms.

I am not alone. I am grateful. I am amazingly grateful and humbled by my illness. I have traveled because of these struggles. I have absorbed and learned from all I have faced. And I know now in a great way that I am not alone. So many humans struggle. There is a greater truth out there. All of us share in this, we are not alone.

Who has raised me in this life? Who brought me up through all of life's turmoil? Was it myself, was it God, was it my parents? How do we become the people that we are today, and where is it that we are headed? Light and dark dress the streets we walk. Chaos and order are in constant struggle against each other. In my life, disability and privilege contrast in a hypocritical dance. I know there are times when I know not how to untangle the deep deep sorrow that lay in my muscles and spirit. But if I had not faced losing my mind and losing reality, there are so many greater truths that I may have never known. Somehow losing myself, fighting for solid ground against wells of grief and tears, forgetting my name, being caged and medicated, allowed me to find reality. I continue to grow in strength because of my struggles.


Sometime hopefully in Fall/Winter of 2017 my book Glass Slippers - A Journey of Mental Illness, will be available on Amazon and bookshops in the San Juan Islands. I am currently working on my second book Memiorish, which may be out in 2018. I write on my blog www.welcometothegrit.squarespace.com. Thanks for reading!