Nowadays I know that sometimes being in a place where I can't freak the fuck out or have a meltdown (like a dinner party) is actually a really good place to go because hopefully I'll be able to pull out something charming and feel like a normal person, or at least I'll just sit there and pretend I'm doing an ethnographic study and I'll narrate the whole experience in a David Attenborough voice inside my head. Maybe I won't be The Life Of The Party but I will be there, and I will be surrounded by nice people and hopefully I'll connect with someone and feel part of the greater human experience and tap into the belief that happiness exists.
I'm not really a fan of new years resolutions. Firstly because I like to think every day can be day zero, a chance to change and reinvent, and secondly because they're usually just a list of our own perceived failings that is so impossibly long that we are doomed from the moment we set pen to paper.
That being said, I took some stock this year and found it surprisingly insightful, here it is.
When I was younger, yes wasn't a problem. I would try any which way, drug, up and down, boyfriend, and lucid experience I could get my hands on. Emotions were just other drugs that had less illicitness, my partaking in them groomed by the movies I watched and the women I saw laughing and eating salad.
Often in life we have to accept the shit sandwich and go with it. It's part of being able to roll with the punches and have a life more free from suffering. But some moments are ripe for brutal honesty, when you can tell them exactly how shit the shit sandwich is. This is one of those times.
In a bid to avoid the real problem, mental illness is still carted out as a mysterious condition; the brain an unknowable depth. But we forget that we largely have the answers to solve many of our ailments, we just won’t grant people access to them. We put wellness on a leash, a drip feeder with unrealistic limitations and often insurmountable financial barriers. Only the rich get well, others die trying.
Some days I am angered by my need to know and understand these things, thinking there are many other ways I'd like to spent my hard earned mental energy. Yet sometimes fruits come from turning infertile soil, and one thing that comes from accepting this graph, and the nature of recovery and healing itself, is the ability to extrapolate that out to other aspects of your life. It has helped me understand the potency of time, the healing quality of patience, and that faith in small steps over time can create something heartbreakingly beautiful, like a life worth living.
After really good first dates, I often find myself day dreaming about growing old with that person, and the collection of succulents we’ll keep. After meeting Dr Richmond, I imagine myself growing well with her.
Emotions are reactions, they aren’t choices. Telling someone they’re too sensitive is like telling someone they’re too human. We take it to mean that there is something innately wrong with us. But really, what they're saying is, I am the barometer for human emotion and you do not measure up in the way that I would like. They're saying, your reaction is not convenient for me. No one is the barometer for human emotion. And no one has the right to tell you how you should feel.
I wanted to be able to post this video say “Hey, here’s some more outlines of what this looks like. Yes it is scary, yes it is hard, but it gets better”. Back when this video was shot, I didn’t really believe in better. Honestly I didn’t even know what it looked like, I couldn’t imagine it. I was really just faking it, and hoping I’d make it. But now I feel like I have made it. At least enough of the way there to know that better is a realistic option.