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Do you ever feel alone? I do. Do you ever think: “I’m the only one….” Yep, me too.
One of the biggest and harshest realities of mental illness is that the sufferer will with out a doubt feel isolated in their own head, where the illness exists. It’s part of the disease. It’s part of the illness. I remember lying in my bed contemplating giving it all up, as my head was so overwhelmed and consumed with darkness that I just wanted it to end – and I closed my eyes and pictured myself as a little girl. I don’t know why I did, I was wearing a pink dress and I was sitting on a swing – smiling – clueless as to what has ahead of me in life. It is impossible for me to explain the intensity of my desire to be that innocent again. But something about picturing myself gave me energy to push forward. I’ve had lots of moments in my life where I was ready for it to be over, and then someone or something stopped me. Call it divine intervention, call it a miracle, call it will, call it whatever you want. But I know one thing – I’ve never been actually as alone as I feel.
In your darkest place, thought, or feeling. You are not alone. In your strangest and most embarrassing behavior, you are not alone. In your irrational fears or frustrations with the lack of progress you are not alone.
By the very nature of human existence in our heads we feel isolated and alone all the time, dependent on others, self-critical, scared, nervous, angry, regretful, and a whole host of other things. It’s part of how our brain works (after all we are the only one up there) So, when a disorder is recognized – when the brain is found to be diseased, just as any other organ of the body can be – we feel alone even more so.
When I feel alone, really alone, EMPTY alone… I sit with a friend, usually I don’t talk because I can’t, or I call my parents just to hear someone breathing on the other side. Sometimes I sit in a public place or walk around a store with people around. I pray “God fill me”.
Because as much as we are convinced that in are darkness, in our fear, in our disorder, in our life we are alone – the truth is we are in a world full of people who feel alone too. You are never alone. I too walk this life of recovery, of treatment planning and progress, of celebrating my own successes. I am with you, even if it’s dark – I’m no stranger to darkness, we just need to find the light.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105