Thursday, January 30, 2014

Clearing the air

I have a new therapist. That is nothing new. But this one feels like she might actually do me some good. She feels, looks and sounds like a cross between my older sister Tammy and my youngest sister Kristin. She listens. She takes notes. She has dealt with people with social and cognitive disorders before. She didn't sit and tell me that it will all get better, because she knows it won't. But she is willing to help me as I struggle to cope.

Schizophrenia is nothing new to me. I have dealt with it most of my 41 years of life. But I have always hid it, from my family, my friends, my doctors, my therapists, my coworkers, my bosses - everyone. Because it is terrifying. I have struggled alone to find ways to act like I'm just another normal person living a normal life while inside my head is an epic struggle to keep a grasp on reality.

One way of coping has been writing. I started as soon as I was able to put pen to paper. I started writing fiction, but when I hit my 20s I was getting too much feedback about my stories being disturbing or dark. They weren't normal enough for someone trying to hide their inner Jabberwocky. So I stopped writing fiction and started writing nonfiction. Writing scientific documents, news articles and magazine stories got me through the next 20 years, but then I broke. Writing wasn't calming any more because it meant talking to people, researching, spending hours and hours dealing with editing and sources and layout. It became a source of stress instead of a release.

It has been more than a year now since I've published anything. And so I am clearing the air. This is not fiction or nonfiction. It is my brain, and it falls somewhere in between. I am clearing the air, unclogging the pipes and getting the words flowing again. And at the same time I am telling someone - even if it is just a web server and no one human ever reads it - what it is like to be me.

Welcome to my Wonderland. It is a terrifying place that is sometimes so beautiful it makes me weep. It is the most exquisite rose with deadly thorns. It is an empty, lonely place that is full of voices and friends that may or may not be real.

Welcome to me.