Thoughts of Life with Irremovable Pains
I was too embarrassed to say I was allergic, so I took the cookie and ate it. When people were not paying attention, I ran to the bathroom and spit it out. I washed my mouth with water from the sink and just hoped for the best. "Are you okay?" they asked. "I'm always good." Nervously spoken with wishes I wouldn't have a bad reaction...I just wanted to be like everyone else
"Are you okay?" they ask. "I'm always good" Nervously spoken back with wishes my life doesn't succumb to the weight of my thoughts...I just want to think… like everyone else.
A great idea? Or the result of some broken pieces.. A beautiful feeling? Or something that will leave just as quickly as it came.. The right move? Or an illusion..
The constant battle between what is real, and what is real. To battle between our feelings and our feelings. To wrestle with us, and us.
We fight against ourselves to understand what version of us is truest.
Are we the person who brings charisma and excitement to life? Or are we the person who struggles to speak and move? Which person is the truest?
Normal life cycles, seemingly, to those with little understanding of these blessings and curses. But high here is beyond what drugs do, this leads to destruction. Lows here are below what can be comprehended, this leads to demise.
A life painfully pushed to limits that are difficult to speak about. Struggle disguised as risk taking. Struggle disguised as sleep. Polarized.
In morning.. these jumps from cliffs could be called leaps of faith. We fly.
In evening… these dives from mountaintops could be called quitting. Some die.
Confidence often finds itself replaced by insecurity. Hope suddenly runs from these veins and hell replaces sunshine.
Rain.. The sound is beautiful to the person who seeks rest. Peaceful moments in this mind.
Rain.. The sound is horrific to the person trying to escape the silence. Chaotic moments in this mind.
Can you imagine? Maintaining life. Maintaining love. Maintaining friends. Maintaining work.
Misunderstanding my own life. Difficulty loving oneself. No friend to myself. Too tired to work.
Our minds, the greatest pieces of us. Hubs of beautiful creativity and color, pleasant sounds and freedom, hope and inspiration.
Our minds, the most confusing parts of us. Our greatest enemies, leaving us in pieces. Evaders of peace. Places of darkness, chaos, suffering, and pain.
When all is well, all is well. But when all is wrong, seemingly all is wrong. Please, Life, tighten these screws, knot these ropes without flaw, and hold me up.. Lest I fall from unforgivable heights.
If you’ve continued to read and you made it to this point. I offer the sincerest of apologies for welcoming you into what seems to be confusion. But I beg you to stay for a moment longer.. For men and women across this world, understanding the mind is a task not completed in one lifetime. Each of us, I’m certain, walks away from life with questions left unanswered, feelings left unexplained, and concepts not understood. The 99 year old who breathes her last is packed with wisdom, but many questions still. We dwell in bodies with minds that are far greater than us. We know just how blood pumps through the heart to supply the body, how food placed in our mouths is tasted and digested, how a pinch causes pain.. But few of us understand how feelings flow. Not those of our hands touching objects, but those inside our heads, written on our hearts.
As children, we learn to dwell in imagination. We learn to dream, to believe that impossibility is fiction and that anything can be accomplished. We learn to trust our own minds. We learn that our thoughts are safe havens. What is thought cannot be held against the thinker, so long as the thoughts do not leak. What is pictured in our minds is safe, so long as it is not drawn. What words we see are safely tucked away, so long as they are not written. Our minds, we’ve learned from childhood, are places we can abide and rest, places we can trust. But what happens when those safe spaces turn into prisons, painful deserts, or high rooftops we walk on with gaping holes and few lights..
As a kid, it feels burdensome to have an allergy. When I was in elementary school, allergies did not prohibit other students from bringing certain foods to class. It was a tough time to grow up with an allergy. If a birthday was celebrated, and peanut butter was that kids favorite kind of cupcake, then that is exactly what came into the classroom. Occasionally the teacher would say, “so and so is going to pass out cupcakes, make sure you have your napkin…and say thank you.” Those words, for the allergy suffering kid, would be broken apart by “Patrick, or so and so, you know you can’t have one, right?” And that awkward smile ensues where you try to act okay. You try to act tough. In reality, you feel left out, and broken. A young mind, flooded, and overwhelmed by ONE thought. “I just wish I wasn’t allergic.” Not so much because you want to taste it, but because being on the outside feels really bad sometimes. Sounds small, but it drives to a larger feeling.
As adults living with mental illnesses, we find ourselves sharing those same awkward smiles, that same feeling of being pushed to the outside of normality. Life, speaking to humanity with gentleness, “You can trust yourself, your thoughts, your feelings..” Yet sounding painfully similar to that teacher, some hear to themselves, “you know that message is not for you, right? You're welcome.” We are gifted by life with the "outside" and no way to give it back. And often, more than an awkward smile rests on our face. Pain sets in and confusion fills the mind. These minds, flooded, and overwhelmed by ONE thought. “I just wish my mind was normal.” Not because it doesn’t come with some good days, or because normality is so beautiful but because it feels so bad being on the outside sometimes. Especially when you did not choose.
Offering light at the end of a tunnel, or wings to birds tumbling on first flights from their nest is not my goal here. The simple penning of honesty is a win. The simple sharing of thoughts is our hope. The breath we push out of our mouths is the light. The continuance of life is our flight. If we think stories ending with bliss are all life is about, we are painfully mistaken. Brokenness dwells on this earth. Confusion lives in our world. Pain is present in our lies. Suffering will live with us as long as warm bloods flows through our veins. Here, I desire to offer perspective more than anything. I want to offer an open lens into minds that feel pushed to the side, kicked off the playground, or not welcomed to the party. To minds who go from being on the inside, the bravest on the playground, and the life of the party, to being destructively sad and secluded, reclusive and misunderstood. We fight within ourselves, rarely speaking the pain within, carrying on through life searching for whatever “normal” is.
Rarely do we open up. Rarely do we find rest.
To those we share our lives with, friends, family, Facebook associates, or Instagram followers.. Know we can be trusted. Know we trust you when we open for you, to you. For us, for every word spoken outwardly, a million lives within. For every painful thought shared, a hundred more are left unspoken. When you are painfully outcast for something you did not choose to live with, you are careful who you allow into your mind, into your heart. We rarely share the thoughts behind those awkward smiles after life tells us that the rules are different for us. Cherish the moments fragile minds find rest in your arms and feel comfortable enough to say, “I just wish I was normal.” To be trusted by minds that find trust difficult, or altogether absent, is a blessing. We take much to deal with, but we give back that weighted gift. We flow freely when comfortable, because even bondage desires to roam some days. You become our open meadows and our fenceless fields.
To the mind captive to itself many days, don’t take this as a message of loss. Though lifelong, there is a story to be proud of. Here are the wings I disregarded before, the light at the end of our tunnel.. Realize understanding lives in our world, just as sure as your pain does. For every group that doesn’t know your struggle, one soul makes up for it all. For every painful day stuck in bed, many more will be found lost in beautiful worlds of creativity. For every moment of distrust in yourself, you will find courage to stand where others are fearful. For every tear dropped, another blessing upon your head. For every day feeling cursed, many more where you’re anointed. For every heartbreak birthed out of misunderstanding, a more fruitful love. For every friendship broken, the blooming of another. For many misspoken words and actions regretted, gentle forgiveness. For every missed opportunity, another door opened. For every chance missed because your body would not lift itself up, another moment to rise. For every day seemingly wasted fighting the mind, plenty more of freedom. For every failed attempt, the sudden courage to try again. For every moment of self hate, a powerful flood of confidence. For every loss, a reassuring win. For every dark day, I promise a better sunrise and sunset. And hell, for every life lived through this struggle, another story of victory. Born to fight. To be inextricably bound to long-suffering, means a life inextricably bound to perseverance. And to be bound, with no path of escape, to perseverance, is to be bound forever to hope. Cursed with these minds, but also deeply blessed. Our suffering directly links to our freedom. A beautiful confusion. An awesome pain. A fight in our favor.
So, until hair grows grey, and front porches feel like vacations, and rocking chairs are our rollercoasters.. until our stories are told, until love rises in our lives, until little children birthed from little children we birthed ask us about our lives, until the thoughts that once crippled us are a little hard to remember because of our age, until the last word is written on the last page of our lives... we will fight, we will live, and we will live abundantly.
Still present.. are wishes that I was not allergic, and most of all, desires that my mind was just like yours. I think..
To an abrupt exit, to thoughts left unspoken… Until the minds flows and my heart fills with more..
Be well, my friends.
I love you, all, with more than words can describe.