A Mental Health Story: Part 1


“Hello?”

“Hi.”

“Hello?”

“Yes, hello. Can you hear me?”

“Yes, I hear you…. So… How’s it going?”

“Oh. Yeah it’s okay. Not doing too great but I’m managing, I think.”

“Hello?”

“Yes! I’m here, hello. Hello, can you hear me?”

“Yes, I hear you. So, how’s it going?”

“It’s going okay.”

“How have you been feeling?”

“Fine. A little down since I started with the increased dosage… about three weeks ago, right?”

“Hm. Are you working?”

“Yes.”

“How’s that going?”

“I don’t love it, but it’s going okay… I guess.”

“Hm… Are you smoking a lot?”

“Not as much as before but a little more than recently.”

“Hm.”

John waited for his doctor to say something, but after waiting till the sun went down, he blurted, “My therapist and I think we haven’t pursued all options yet. The ADHD route is something worth exploring, because I… I feel my anxiety has risen pretty high now… not as depressed, but the anxiety has gone up a bit somehow.”

“Your therapist?”

“Yes.”

“We could try it. Gonna have to stop smoking so much though.”

“I know.”

The quick goodbye from his doctor’s dry voice left a bitter taste in John’s mouth. Enough to make him open it and stammer. Exaggerated, and slightly high already, he leaned over and fell onto his bed. Staring at nothing, into nothing, turning into nothing. He then decided to take a nap and hide. Sleeping in a cabin in the middle of somewhere where there wasn’t a lot of people. So getting not sober in the early afternoon, sometimes midday, is okay and no problem. He’s going to be a writer anyway, right? What’s to worry, no rush. Take your time. While your mind goes on like a bullet train.

It’s been three weeks and the pills haven’t been doing shit. At first he was feeling pretty good, but they wore off quicker than the end of a hooker’s doorknob. In and out. In and out of reality his mind wanders. Questioning itself and trying to figure out what’s true and what’s not. It’s been getting so hard to discern nowadays. Ever since he started hating his job – from the moment he started – it’s just added a whole other layer to where he thought he would get some clarity. A little direction would be nice every once in awhile. Especially when navigating the world’s health system while feeling – being – mentally handicap. Able out of pride, rather than ability.

Why am I figuring out my problem? I came here for help! I can barely operate as it is!

Ever since he started taking the medication the suicidal thoughts have subsided, but there was still all this grey area. Whereas before was a visible problem to fix, now everything was so blurry. Unable to see past his own hands. The space that comprised his head was clear – maddening, but clear – though everywhere else was grey and opaque. What was he to do? He’d tried everything in the book already. Exercise, relationship-building, jobs, writing, sobriety, diet, self-improvement, reading, online courses, therapy, another kind of therapy, another kind of therapy, group sessions, journals and diagrams, and more. The only thing left was psychiatry. Little did he know that that would bring a host of other problems with it. Trying to find the right pill and diagnose what the hell was wrong was harder than if you were a two year old, blind-folded, in a corn maze the size of four football fields. Good luck finding a way out.

Though, there was always a way out. A secret door that John could magically appear whenever he pleased. Like a fairy on his shoulder. Say the command and poof, there it is. Always by his side.

But he doesn’t feel the need to anymore. Not as much at least.

The day was ahead of him and there was no time to lose. Time to get up John. Go live your life.

“I hate my fucking life.”

He didn’t have the best of attitudes sometimes. He didn’t mean everything he said but he could be a real ankle breaker. Always so serious. Sometimes so indifferent. It’s just how things went. He tried to keep it to himself, as to not impose the negativity on other people, with relative success (other than perhaps on his parents back in the day). The thoughts just ebbed and flowed seemingly out of his control and the fact is that he just started getting used to taking the punches. Sometimes getting appreciation for the suffering.

If you take a step back, it wasn’t all that bad. He objectively had a very good life. Parents supporting through the worst of times, friends, skill and knowledge, food, water, and shelter. But he subjectively felt like he was in hell. It’s just the truth.

To be continued…

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