A Monster. It lurks just out of sight. It’s around every corner, in every closet, every room that isn’t lit bright enough to hurt your eyes. The monster follows you, the monster is to your left, and to your right. The monster is everywhere you are. I imagine that it might even be better if you could at least put a face on it, so you could at least know when the monster is coming for you, at least then you would know to take a left rather than that right. You don’t know when that monster is going to show up. You only know that it will.
You will have good days, even wonderful, fantastic, miraculous days, or weeks, or even a month. However, you’ve learned from the past that, My God, a month is too long, a month and a half? Well, that’s just plain terrorizing in itself! You’ve conditioned yourself for the fight but, if it goes too long, what happens then? Am I going to get weak? Am I soft now? Is this the time the monster comes out the other side and I don’t? What if I’m….what if I’m…anywhere but a safe place? What if the monster picks the battleground? I better stay home, I better not, I better stay in bed. I better sleep all day. On the other hand, I better stay awake! I have to be ready for the next round. I can’t let myself be attacked with my eyes closed….
What if there is no safe place? Then what? What if everything I’ve tried, everything I’ve done until now is just wrong? Is there a right and a wrong? How will I know? Even if I ask someone for help, how can I trust that THEY aren’t the pitch black, in disguised just to get the jump on me? I better not trust anyone!
I’d like to play another game now, please! Can anyone reset the board? But, then I remember because the monster reminds me. THIS IS NO GAME! This could be life and death next time.
The problem is this monster is real, but it has no face, it has no form, no color, and no mass. This monster lives inside, and when it gets out…when it attacks…it attacks through ME! It is me. But, it’s not me, not really. Somewhere inside I am beauty, light, and love. I KNOW that I AM – DAMN IT why can’t anybody see me? Does anyone see me? Nobody cares anyway! Do they? Maybe it’ll be easier not to care either.
The above is not a description of my persona. It is, however, how I imagine mental disability feels to those that struggle with it.
It is a part of my life because someone I love more than that person can understand battles mental disability. I am sure I cannot, and have not done it justice. I am only able to write how I feel as an outsider who has deep empathic ties to the people I love.
In the event the monster doesn’t know, I’m calling you out now! I am coming for you, and I have a history. A history of staying in the fight. I will fight to the end because you’ve picked the wrong opponent. You’ve picked someone I love.
I have one word of advice for you. RUN!