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On Being Crazy And Learning To Be Normal

December 17, 2013

When it comes to mental disorders, I sometimes feel like I won the genetic lottery. My biological father is narcissistic, has borderline personality disorder, and had massive anger issues. His mother is a hoarder, the likes of which could easily star on the similarly-named television show about being buried alive. His father I don’t know much about, except he was also angry a lot. His siblings have varying degrees of borderline and other personality disorders. My mother has gone a few rounds with depression and has PTSD. Her father seems pretty normal, but her mother has control-freak tendencies. My great-grandmother was apparently a raging alcoholic and had major anger issues. Dad’s side of the family also has alcohol and drug issues.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, a major depressive disorder, and fibromyalgia. I also inherited my paternal grandmother’s hoarding, although, thankfully, to a lesser degree. I inherited an obscene tolerance for alcohol and painkillers. I have a temper that terrifies me. I’ve battled suicide ideations since I was 12. I have my father’s ability to be beloved in public and a monster in private. I’m a monster in my own head.

But I am not my father. I am not the monsters. For whatever I’m capable of, I am an inherently good person. (Don’t tell anyone that. It will ruin my carefully cultivated reputation.) My world is better when I can do kind things for others. I’m an idiot for giving people too many second chances and always believing I can bring out the good in others, if I work hard enough. I spend way too much time crying over being crushed because I put myself out there.

A couple nights ago, my mother came the closest she ever had to admitting that she realized I’d been battling a lot of mental issues for most of my life. She told me I was more alive and together than I have ever been and that she was watching me overcome things I’d struggled with since I was a child. Her words struck me to the core. I have spent so many years trying to survive the minefield in my own head, feeling like a hypocrite because I tell others it is going to get better, but not believing it as truth for myself.

For the first time in my life, I genuinely believe that things can and are getting better.

Finding a medication that works for me has made a profound difference. Anyone who has never battled depression or another persistent mental disorder can shut the fuck up about medication, therapy, and what it takes to become fully functional in life. This shit isn’t easy to live with and it sure as hell isn’t something you can just choose to get over.

At 27 years old, I feel like I have to relearn everything in my life. I have new tolerances for foods and medicines. I have new abilities to function. I now have the ability to get out of bed and into the world without it drowning me.

Recovery is a process. Things don’t get better anywhere near as fast as we want them to. I wish I could snap my fingers and have my life and world in order, but Mary Poppins kind of hogged that ability. Bitch.

If you’re drowning, go get help. Please go get help. I had resigned myself to a personal hell, before I finally found a solution that helped me. It has taken years to get relief. I’m not perfect. It isn’t always easy. But the fact I can say that each day is a step of progress is huge for me. I’m okay with taking baby steps and no longer feel like a failure for it. LOOK GUYS! I MADE PROGRESS.

Progress is awesome. Get some.

Until Next Time,


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One Comment
  1. You’re the same age as me, which for some reason surprised me; perhaps I expected this blog to be from someone ‘older,’ but that’s just the part of me in denial about getting ‘older’ myself. I think I may end up reading your blog more than I intended to, especially since I’m at work right now :X

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