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Observations of a seeker *update*

August 29th, 2010

**I want to dedicate this post to Leah, one of the founders of this site.  And, to thank her for continuing her path to wellness and not hiding in the shadows.  She’s given us a home here at Real Mental; a place to tell our stories, a place to heal, and a beacon of light in the dark world of Mental Illness.  xoxoxo

There’s something that I’ve always known about myself, and it becomes more and more clear with each passing year.  Certain things come more in focus.  On one level it’s good to understand yourself just a little bit more, it’s comforting to snag a truth that you know you will never unlearn.

Another level is it usually means saying goodbye to a particular part of your life, a part of yourself maybe even people you love.

I would tell you that I’m a seeker, but not so that I elevate myself above others.  It’s something that chose me.  Words aren’t the matter, simply a way to try and define the condition.

Being a seeker means that you will often find yourself alone even around other people.  Alone in that your mind operates a little differently.  Or, could it be we’re just more honest and forthright about ourselves, having moved beyond the fear of being accepted.  Either you get it, or you don’t.

There are others out there that are seekers, sometimes we even find each other and cheer the other along during times of darkness when we’re fighting the knowledge that seekers always seem to find.

Changing behaviors, improving ourselves is like turning an ocean liner.  You turn but you don’t see the results of that turn for a long time.  Personally, I like to see immediate results of my turns, to know that there’s a reason for it, not that I’ve chosen to suffer for no reason.  Or wonder if the turn was just a waste of my time and I should’ve just stayed in the dark where it was safe.

Why can’t you be happy, why do you have to ask yourself all these questions, why can’t you let go of the past?

Except, I can’t stay in the dark and be content.  If I could, I wouldn’t turn in the first fucking place.  I envy those that can stay in the dark, walking along the same path they’ve walked along since they were born.

The age of blindness is behind us, it’s been turning for a long time, the masses are only now beginning to see the results of it.

I’m not built that way, I can’t honor something that isn’t true.  My eyes are open.  The duration of a new bend is the most painful, the one where I scream and become angry.  Once I move beyond it, I know once again it is as it is supposed to be.

I compare it to the air after a hurricane, clear and bright.  Debris has washed away, new things are about and old things are gone.  A cycle that I’ve walked through emotionally time and time again.

Hindsight gives me the hope and strength to do it once again.  Friends that understand offer support and love.  They don’t question the process, they just love me through it.  Either it’s because they understand, or they don’t but they trust that what we tell them is real to us.

The ones that do not understand cannot be held accountable for their ignorance.  The anger they hurl is their own, ignorantly thinking that projecting it elsewhere, it will rid them of it.  Over and over again they continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

Changing the course isn’t a process for cowards.  The ones that act in spite of their fear, demonstrating courage, are the ones that successfully turn the ocean liner leaving footprints for those that come after us, hopefully making the path a little easier.

Glenn Close – No More Secrets

August 25th, 2010

Glenn Close is my new favorite person. She wrote an amazing article and did a public service announcement about removing the stigma of mental illness. No more secrets. Get it out in the open and regain your power.

More than half a million people come through here every day, people of all ages and backgrounds, all walks of life. You can’t necessarily tell from the outside—the clothes they wear, the things they carry, even the way they act—what’s going on with someone inside—the struggles they face, the loneliness they feel, the hope and understanding they seek.

That’s why I’m here. I’ve learned that one in four adults has a mental illness—such as depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD or schizophrenia—and the stigma can be as daunting as the disease itself.

Please read the full article here on Guideposts. The PSA video is also there.

Your Story – I Hate Snakes

August 12th, 2010

Guest post by Majarani

I always wanted to be an anthropologist. I wanted to study cultures, artifacts – essentially I wanted to be Indiana Jones. Maybe we all do a little. Not so much the chilled monkey brains, but very much the knowledge and power it brings.

I am drawn to the comparison now because I feel, much like Indy, that I am in a trap. I entered into this maze to find a prize and feel thwarted at every turn. I’m not searching for a healing skull or valuable gem, but simply peace. Peace of mind, peace in my heart, peaceful sleep. I can’t shake the feeling of crouching and crawling through dank, moss-covered stones. Hauling myself through an ancient canal, dredging up sludge and ignoring the slithery, slimies that keep bumping my legs. I reach what appears to be the end and suddenly “pwang!” five arrows embed themselves into the opposite wall an inch from my nose.

Someone once told me- “it’s not always a good thing to see a light at the end of the tunnel. There are very good odds it is an oncoming train.” I guess I’d rather be on the wrong track then be hit by the right train.

I’m tired, burnt-out. I’m going to find peace or die trying. I cannot live in fear anymore. I can’t wonder if I will ever be safe, or have a place to hide. I will be safe, I will have peace- but maybe I can’t have what I want here. Maybe I need to move on and this is the universe giving me a heads up. Hey Universe, a few less snakes next time ok? I hate snakes.

Not really broken

July 7th, 2010

When I first realized that I needed change my course I was afraid.  My mind asked if I was doing what I’ve always done, escaping my perceived strangle-hold.  I’ve never flourished or thrived when partnered.

Does this mean I’m eternally broken?

Aren’t humans supposed to couple up and live happily ever after?  If I listen to the inner voice that lives inside of my mind and body, it tells me that this may be true for others but it’s not true for me.

After years of investigating, getting my heart broken, and breaking others’ hearts I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve learned that when I am unattached, I can move mountains.  I can build bridges and soar through the sky.

I miss that part of myself that is capable of great things.  I miss the loneliness that feeds my creativity and moves me to the next level.

I don’t need you, or anyone else to complete me.  I can complete myself far better than anyone else.

I know as I type that the panic of not having a special someone by my side is going to be excruciatingly painful for me.  I’ve been here before, it’s horrible and ugly and I’ll hate myself for not being a better person.  It will not be pretty.

When we love, there is no escaping the inevitable pain that accompanies it.  It’s a part of the package, the sacrifice you make to let your heart soar.

I’m afraid, I don’t know what to do next, and I don’t like not having a direction.  I question my sanity, why on earth would I choose to leave the safety of my life at this point?

It would be selfish of me to continue, knowing I’m not as fulfilled as I should be, you deserve better.  It would be selfish of me to keep you here.

I’m sorry for the upset and chaos that this will bring into our lives, we’ve certainly seen too much of that over the years.

Looking back, I once thought it would make us stronger.  What I realized was that it broke us in ways that cannot be repaired.  I’ve been grieving much longer than you, as I’d hoped it was something I could find a solution to.

If I could block it out, and change how I am, I would.  I’ve tried medications, therapy and behavior modification just to make it all fit.

It’s not something that can be repaired because it’s not really broken.

Your Story: Opportunity

May 4th, 2010

By Majarani

I always thought that if my “ship came in” as it were, I would be in the water so fast, the sharks wouldn’t even know I was there.

The reality is not so immediate.

After a lifetime of broken trust and a broken heart. After being abandoned by my parents, the Department of Health and Human Services, by my “adoptive” family, then, finally by my husband I am pretty beaten up- on the inside.

The divorce was a two year battle, and finally, it has ended.

I am free.

A man I have known professionally for about a year, approached me, on the day of my divorce, professed his love, and promised me everything. He’s handsome, independently wealthy, his long term goals are the same as mine. We have a lot of fun when we hang out. I could have all the children I ever longed for, a good husband that could provide, family vacation, I could get that PhD…I don’t love him, I don’t know him that well yet- not on a real personal level. By the nature of our professional relationship he knows damn near everything about me.

I’ve been dating a guy for about a year. He’s awesome. We have fun. He’s affectionate. He never wants kids, will never get married again.

It seems like an easy choice.

It isn’t.

Do you know me?

April 19th, 2010

I belong to everyone, yet to no one.

You want my time, they want my time, I love you.

All of you.

Sometimes I want to be left alone, maybe for an hour, a day, a week or a month.

I’ll come back to you, I always do.

I just need time to collect myself, my thoughts, my emotions.

To shake them off, disperse the intensity, to just be me.

There’s a lot that I share freely, and then there’s a lot that I do not share freely.

You think you know me, and you do.

But not all of me.

I always keep some for myself.  I have to, or I’ll fall down

in a heap of empty and nothing.

And you won’t have anything to greet you when you are invited back.

Never forget that I love you, and I love them,

but sometimes I need





It’s time to go

April 9th, 2010

The thought comes, then the pit of the stomach feeling as if I’ve lost the biggest prize at the fair.  I’m the girl that doesn’t win, the one that doesn’t get the guy, the one that lets you treat me like shit and pretend that I just need to adjust my thinking.

Pretending time is over, I’ve seen the truth and once that bitch comes out she doesn’t leave.

Truth has saved my life many times.

Always painful, always harrowing, always sad.  It’s the other side that I aim for, getting to the other side of IT.  It’s like finding that doll house you always wanted under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

This time, I’m not blaming myself for taking so fucking long to finally SEE IT.  This time, I’m not doing that.  I am one hundred percent positive that it took every fucking thing it took to bring me here.

Many years were involved.  Many bad things, many hard things, and a whole lot of me trying to figure out what the motherfucking hell I was doing wrong and trying to correct it.

I can honestly say that I’ve done everything I can think of to resolve, to see it differently.  I’ve looked at it from your point of view, from her point of view, their point of view and the one that really fucking matters is my own point of view.

Today I realized that I deserve so much more than I’ve allowed myself to be given.  I don’t blame you, or her, or them.  My part is that I, you, and them teach others how to treat us.  We do.  If I do not see myself as worthy I’m not going to command that from anyone else.

Another level, another layer of the same insect that moved into my head as a child and colored my life choices to date.

By opening myself up to this level of intimacy, vulnerability and love I can see this whole deal in a new light.

A light of love maybe.

Just maybe, a light of love and acceptance for myself that I wasn’t sure I was capable of.

I am.

I’m ready.

Let’s go.