(First published on February 05, 2019)
I feel as if I’m being squeezed past my limits like an empty tube of toothpaste
with just a few bits left. But because I err on the side of positivity, I chose this
as my outlet.
I don’t recognize my life right now, but that’s okay, I know it’s temporary. I can
say that no matter what I go through in life I will never let go of the belief that
good wins, always. It doesn’t take tragedy to make a good writer. You can
never turn me into a tragic writer because I will always spin it for good, so
don’t waste your evil on me.
I want to illuminate the good. I don’t know any better. At this point in my
life, I have mainly myself to consult with. I’m acting on good faith and what my gut tells me is the right thing to do.
My health is challenging me though; family has died and people have left my life.
I had a normal life once, but it seems like I’m looking at that former life now
through a frosted window of some greater story (before time existed at this
I’m fighting things now that I never had to before. My secrets were hidden (or so I had hoped) and I went about my day like everyone else. And I did well and played well with others.
But then the s%^&&t hit the fan and here I now am. But I don’t even know
where I am nor where I stand. I just know this is not the place for me.
So being totally blunt, I have been stigmatized. I don’t think anyone should
ever be stigmatized for anything because we are all flawed. And what are the
gauges for calculating who gets a mental health label or who falls below the
line (for whatever reason, those lucky people!)? I have been given
different labels to my diagnoses at different times in my life but I can’t accept
any of them. I say, “Do you know why I am here, in this situation, under these circumstances? Do you know that I was minding my own business not too long ago? I was trying to go about the business of living my life in a respectful way. I was just hoping to keep myself afloat financially, socially, and spiritually.”
“What makes you conclude that I have that “label”? How long have you known
me? Just one office visit? Just one hospital stay? And in that short amount of
time I have to allow you, albeit a credentialed person, to give me a stamp on
my forehead to carry with me for the rest of my life. Hmm? I do understand I
need some help, but a label, no! You might categorize me for insurance
purposes only you say, but that puts me in a certain category that other public
agencies can then call upon and judge me with. And it can cause other people
who get leaked those labels to treat me a certain way.”
“Yes, I need some help and that’s why I’m here, but a label like you stick on a jar of peanut butter doesn’t help me live a normal life once I’m healed. Even the peanut butter jar eventually gets tossed and a new peanut butter jar appears on grocery store shelves. I don’t want to be shelved with other peanut butter jars, permanently.”
I am very disturbed to even be writing about this. I know that the younger generation is very evolved and has grown up very accepting. I appreciate that because I too am benefiting from the environment of openness they have created. Thank you to those publicly accepting young people. You have a bravery that I never had when I was your age.
I came back after a “breakdown” in my 20s because I figured nobody knew
me and I could start fresh, and pretend I was as normal as everyone else. I
did that for years, working 35+ years for great companies, mainly as an office
Little did I know, that another “breakdown” (or two) would be in my future. And this at a point in my life when others were already enjoying their retirements. Since I had no pension, I was forced to work. I turned to writing
because that’s what I could do from home, even if some days I couldn’t even
handle dealing with an ordinary day. It forced me to write because I’m
responsible and I wanted to pay my bills. I give a good fight.
But now my health is pushing the final bits of toothpaste out of my empty tube, so forcefully that the only positive result I can see is for me to write what
needs to be said. Maybe my own body is telling me, “You need to say these
things so they won’t be buried with you.”
There’s nothing to hide anymore. I feel that everything in my life has been exposed and maybe that is only in my own mind. Nevertheless, there’s no turning back to my old life, and I wouldn’t want to anyway. I did work, held great jobs, paid my bills, and took excellent care of my mom when she was sick. I’m not perfect but I won’t let anyone tell me that I’m a bad person. I might be fighting my own internal demons when I say all that. Maybe no one has a problem with me at all. But since I am now and always have been out of the loop in life, I will never know the truth about that. I go with what sits well with me. And I speak accordingly.
I have no kids and don’t plan on any. Yet, I still would like to leave
a legacy for my own self’s memory. The fact that I once walked on the planet
and that one day I won’t be here anymore. I have no one to carry on my name or legacy. I don’t even know how many people will hold good memories of me
from my lifetime. But for myself, if I think I did something that was totally giving from the base of whatever I have to left to give, it would be from what I have just written.
This is no goodbye letter. I still hold out hope that things will improve for me. I
have always been idealistic and I will never let go of that. No matter how bad
things get I still keep going. I’m like, “No, I’m not ending like this! This is not
acceptable!” As time goes on, I say that with a little less enthusiasm. As time
goes on and things don’t improve, I just might say it with a little less gusto, but
I will always say it no matter what. My faith and hope will always endure.
No matter what condition your health is in, no matter what label they might
have given you, no matter what kind of negative people are in your inner
circle, never ever, ever, ever, I mean never ever give up! You’ve got one life
so live it. And even if you believe that you get more than one life, do you want
even one to be a bad one? Or to purposely shorten even one of those lives?
Do you know what makes me brave now? No matter what I write, the world
never changes. Whether this gets posted or not, the earth will still revolve
around the sun. I’m no big deal. Whoever has a problem with me, will
eventually get dealt with. I believe in justice. I don’t believe in revenge nor
vengeance. I let God take care of things. I’m guilt free in this moment. I have sinned in my life, yes, but I ask God for forgiveness. God forgives me. Done. Taken care of. The world is never allowed to judge me again. If they do, I’m not listening. Yet, I will always strive to do the right thing.
Never feel like you aren’t heard nor that you don’t matter. It will be proven one day that each one of us makes a difference in the big scheme of things. I
choose to be a positive force in that big picture.