Tag Archives: mental illness

"You're A Break in The Code"

Holy shit.

Wait…you can love the messy parts of yourself?

It should be at like 4:12-4:38. Just listen. (I’m so fucking specific, but not totally committed to the idea that I did that correctly.)

Okay, discuss.

Admittedly, I’m a pretty obsessed Halsey fan and also a bit high. But I’ve listened to that 30-second statement at least six times now and I still don’t know quite what to do with it.

Clutch this brazen, tantalizing idea tightly to my chest, hold my breath, picture myself laughing too loudly and talking too much; writing blindfolded or on my skin, in the dark or in a bathroom; dancing because I have a body, singing because I like it, listening, really listening to music all day long, stopping only to make my own?

Or drop it before it burns me, this foreign thought, forgiveness, appreciation even, of a chaotic mind, a rollercoaster ride, a river of tears; give back this moment of not-wrongness that is not mine; apologize (again) for being crazy, broken, volatile, for being at all; try not exist too brightly, feel too hard, want too much?

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It took me 40 years to even like most of me. I’ve never thought that I could–maybe should–love the side of me that is impulsive and inappropriate and creative and damaged and yes, passionate, about so many things. The side that cries as easily at the beauty of a sunset as at the coldness that crept into love’s voice. The part that needs to “calm down.” The unreasonable side; the “crazy” that I make jokes about because it’s easier than trying to explain what mental illness feels like. The side that feels everything, all the time.

I can love…my temper, my inability to stop saying, “fuck,” my awful dancing and worse voice, my nervous talking, oversharing, failed parenting, broken heart?

What I really want to know now is:

WHO TOLD ME I COULDN’T?

No piece of me is perfect. But I am not in pieces.

I am not a broken thing to be discarded. I refuse to only love and cherish my shiny best-self, the self that’s seemingly so easy to love. Because THAT me couldn’t exist without THIS me. I don’t get to pick one or the other, and neither do you; it’s all or none, my best and my worst, my past and my present, my heart and my mind, my laughter and my tears, my opinions and my insecurities.

All this, this mess, this disaster, this madness, this me? It’s not what I ever thought I ever should be. It just is. It’s me. The whole damn thing. Brave and fearful, weak and strong, obnoxious and honest, funny and ridiculous, hideous and beautiful.

I don’t see any reason to start using my head now; generally, that fucker is trying to take me out anyway.


SMITH Anthology: Tears, laughter, and hope

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As many of you know, this past year has been particularly tough on me, even though I have been dealing with depression, anxiety, and PTSD since I was 14. I’ve been pretty candid about it here on the blog.

When I heard that Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar were putting together an anthology designed to “Laugh Stigma Into Submission” I knew that I had to be a part of it.

The problem was, at the same time that I needed to write the piece and submit it, I was struggling, hard. I mean HARD. It was all I could do to make it through each day, one step at a time. At that point, I wasn’t even focused on making it through each day. It was each hour, each minute.

I wanted SO BADLY to be a part of this project, but I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even think about writing. It was tough enough to pull myself up off the floor and stop the flow of tears before my kids got home from school. Then I was a robot, just mechanically doing what I had to do to make it until bedtime. It’s a damn miracle that I could do that much. I talked to my kids during that time and tried to explain a little bit that I was fighting to get better, for myself and especially for them. This was not the first time that my children’s very existence saved my life.

I have always used humor as armor against pain. Even in therapy, I crack jokes and poke fun at myself. So it was much easier for me to write the humor piece for this anthology. When it came time to write the piece about my depression, I will admit that I kind of phoned it in. I just couldn’t talk about the pain I was in as I was in it. I think I was scared and ashamed to admit just how bad off I was.

So, my piece on depression ended up being cut, and I was disappointed until I read the book. Then I was floored. The raw honesty, the deeply moving, the unfiltered truth on these pages spoke to me like nothing I had ever read, let alone written. I was humbled, and felt more understood than I ever had in my life. It was like these authors reached into my soul and pulled out the jumbled pieces of my pain and laid them on the pages. I have never in my life been so proud to be a part of something as I am this book.

What makes this anthology different from any other is the way Jessica and Alyson wove humor into the stories of mental illness. Because our illnesses do not define who we are. Despite the darkness we fight off every day, there are precious moments of love, laughter, and joy.

My piece in this anthology is humorous. It is somewhat inappropriate, as is most of my writing. I like to think it is funny. I hope you enjoy it. I am honored that it was chosen to share space with the other pieces in this book.

Whether you suffer from a mental illness or you know someone who does, you should read this book and, if you can, leave a review on Amazon. It will help spread the word about this important project, and make me very happy.

It is available at the following places:

e-reader: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor for Kindle

Paperback: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Paperback

Barnes and Noble: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor for Nook

Barnes and Noble: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Paperback

iTunes: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor iTunes

Or visit http://www.survivementalillness.com/

 

 


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