The truth is that I’m not okay.
As someone that writes about her journey with mental illness, I like to tie it in a nicely wrapped bow. I have masked the truth with inspiration because I want to believe that sadness is temporary. Or I wear my illness with a badge of honor because it shows that I am strong. But I’m not. It’s all a lie. There is nothing inspirational about having a mental illness. I’ll never be okay.
I will battle this for a lifetime.
Truthfully, I’m tired. I hate that I must accept that this is who I am. I’m angry.
I am mad that mental illness takes away my joy.
That it steals my memories.
Or that I have to pretend that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
There is no other side to mental illness. I will never reach the end of the tunnel. Mental illness isn’t a fairy tale with a happy ending.
I will never conquer the antagonist of this story. Mental illness lingers in the shadows, waiting for a moment of weakness to destroy my solitude. It won’t allow me to finish building my shelter. It might provide temporary cover, but it never holds out the darkness completely.
As much as I relish those moments of recovery, I know it will not last. The disassociation will come to take away all of my joy until I’m able to come back to life, just to do it again. And while I’m in the light, I scramble to build up this fortress of protection. Because I know that mental illness never truly goes away.