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Anonymous Confession #1

Hello.  If you saw me on the street, with my friends and family or at work, you would think, “What a semi-normal person!”  What you don’t see is the years and years of crazy I keep buried down inside of me.  True, sometimes a little slips out, but I work very, very hard at keeping my insanity hidden.  Truth is, I have treatment-resistant schizoaffective disorder. This means, that about 90% of the time, I am struggling with profound depression and suicidal thoughts, and the rest of the time (and sometimes overlapping time), I have schizophrenic tendencies; basically, I hear voices and occasionally see “dead people”.  It is a full time job pulling off the “just as sane as you” act, and it is terribly exhausting.  I have tried various ways to cope with my illness.  I was a cutter for eleven years…not too healthy, but it was effective.  When I realized I was being self-destructive, I sought out other ways to feel good.  I turned to shopping and eating.  Cut to years later, $17000.00 in credit card debt and 70 lbs. overweight.  I am proud to say I have lost most of the weight and am working at chipping away the debt.  But all my searching for “highs” came at a cost.  And, when the “good feeling” wore off from each of these temporary fixes, I was left feeling even worse than before.  I am sorry to say I have looked for more permanent solutions, a.k.a. killing myself.  I have tried, seriously, three times and half-heartedly, about a dozen.  I used to think I was a failure because I couldn’t even succeed at suicide…which from books and movies, seems so simple.  I ran out into the middle of a busy road at the high traffic time of day.  People who weren’t trying to get hit, were almost hit all the time.  Of course when I tried, I would run out in front of the one car with a good driver quick enough to hit the brakes, give me the finger and keep going.  I tried to O.D. on prescription and non-prescription pills and alcohol, and when that didn’t work, I tried more pills and alcohol.  For awhile I played a sort of “Russian Roulette” with God.  I would take some stuff and go to bed, praying, “Okay, God, let’s see if you wake me up!”.  In the morning, when I did wake up, I would say, “Okay…I guess I will fight a little longer.”  It was a crazy, dangerous game to play. Yet, God kept waking me up.  The last time I seriously tried to OD, I went to bed and this time prayed, “God, if you love me, you won’t wake me up.”  But, He did.  And for a good year I was enraged at Him,  And I was sad.  I was in a sort of mourning, because I wanted to be done with all of this.  But God has His own reasons for doing what He does.  I am by no means worthy of all the second, third, fifteenth, etc. chances He has given me.  On better days, I fear He will kill me in a car accident or by murder as a way of saying, “Gotcha!  You tried to die so many times and now that you are okay with being stuck here, I am taking my vengeance!”  Deep inside, I know God doesn’t work that way, but the paranoia won’t let that thought go away.  Right now, I have made my peace with being stuck here a little longer.  Do I still hope for a massive heart attack at the age of forty?  Most of the time.  Am I going to do anything to actively try to take my life?  Not right now.  It is true that most days, I wake up and say, “Crap!  I am still here!”  But I figure as long as I am here, I may as well do what I can to earn my being allowed to survive all the stupid crap I’ve done.  So, I am writing on behalf of all the “lunatics” out there.  We shouldn’t have to pretend to be “normal” just to avoid judgement.  Just because we struggle, doesn’t mean we aren’t fighting like hell to get through this life, or even just this day.  I tell my family that I fight harder than anyone I know, and that is the truth.  I take all the psychiatric drugs I am supposed to; I have frequent shock treatments (which are no picnic…but more on that some other time); I see my psychiatrist regularly as well as a therapist.  What more can a person be expected to do?  So now I am searching for new ways to cope.  Exercise is a big help, as it releases endorphins and tires me out enough to make doing anything destructive seem too exhausting to try.  The problem with that is getting motivated enough to actually do it.  But I am trying.  I also journal.  It gets the racing thoughts out of my head for a bit and onto paper.  I have a whole shelf full of filled journals…maybe someday someone will find them and read them; and, maybe, just maybe, it will bring them closer to understanding mental illness from an insider’s perspective.  I have been called many negative things and accused of many negative things because of what I deal with.  Those people are generally just self-righteous and ignorant.  But, knowing that doesn’t make the words sting any less.  So, I am blogging.  Maybe someone will come across this and it will help them in some way.  Maybe I am one step closer to redemption by doing this.  Who knows.  I am a sojourner on a winding, sometimes dangerous, path to find my purpose and the answer to the question, “Why am I still here?”

So Long, For Now,

Your Lunatic Friend

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