It is no secret that our family struggles with mental illness. It is no secret that it effects every single person, like a ripple, even through otherwise choppy waters. It is an odd image, isnt it? After all, if the water is already disturbed, how deep can a ripple shake it further? What is the true cost of *just one more thing*?
You'll indulge my metaphor, even if it falls apart, somewhat. It is the only fitting thing to describe how I exist in this here, in this now. Sometimes the waters ebbs and sometimes it flows. Some moments float along, deceptively calm; the undercurrent swift, deep, and unpredictable in its hunger to drag me under, to toy with me, to crush me before releasing me, gurgling in delight as I bob forth, gasping for air, frantic for the shoreline.
One of the things people will often tell me is that I *look* okay. As though there is an expectation of physical weakness in emotional turmoil. As though the veracity of my claim is thrown in doubt because I present a facade that passes as good. Great, even. But faces, bodies, or even actions aren't what is important in mental illness. I can look fine to you and you will never know whether I am unable to catch my figurative breath, whether I am, in that moment, a nose under the water, or if I have just broken through the surface.
And I can't even tell sometimes where I am either. And that inability to feel anything in a concrete way often manifests itself in just saying, I'm fine. When I am most certainly not fine. When I am so far from ok that I cant even conceive what fine might actually look like. Because, it feels like it has always been this way. That this fogginess shredding my moments, my hours, my days, is a normal state of fine, when it is, in fact, *phine*
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And so it goes.