When I was a very young child, my brain and mind were free and open to see and create beautiful visions for my life. I had a lifetime to make my dreams come true.
There was no box.
After a few years passed and the abuse began, I saw the box and visited it occasionally to protect myself from the pain caused from the outside world I knew.
This box was always there for me and protected me and kept me safe within my mind, but I could still get outside my mental illness box.
After I gave birth to my first child, a large box swallowed me whole, entrapping me inside. The box encompassed me and left no windows of hope or opportunity to see through. My life and view of the world became very dark.
After a few years I saw a glimmer of light shine through a small opening. I saw hope and soon my window of hope gradually increased in size until I could peek through an opening of my life knowing there was a chance to escape from the darkness of this mental illness box.
After being diagnosed with postpartum depression and bipolar 1 disorder 25 years ago, I have never been able to completely break free from the confines of my box. Many times my box had great big windows of hope and opportunity. Hope was within my reach and I held on to that rope of hope with all my strength. Sometimes only one side of the box remained, so my sight opened up to a better day and a brighter tomorrow.
Imagine being in a large box that is closed shut. It is very dark. Blackness surrounds you.
Sometimes, a small horizontal rectangular window of light opened up so I could peek through. My rectangular window of hope varied in size and dimension throughout the years depending on the wellness of my brain and mind and which bipolar pole I was in or near.
My rectangular window and view for my life changed from day-to-day. The larger my rectangular window became, the more hope I had. The greater the vision of hope I had, the more beautiful the picture of my life became. My ability to function and live my life depended on the size of the window of hope inside my box. I was still living, but my vision and living had been obscured from this mental illness box that surrounded me throughout my life.
After many years of living with this mental illness box surrounding me, my box grew darker and my window of hope destroyed. There were no more windows to see out of or to bring light back inside my mental illness box of life. I was gone. I left. My brain had died. I had no more light to see. I had no hope.
When I did not have the ability to hope or see clearly, my brain shut done and took away my rational thoughts and ideas to live. My thoughts did not seem to be my own, but they were the only ones I had and the only reality I knew. My perception of reality was wrong and my brain fired lies at me that I could no longer fight.
I began to listen to the illogical lies my brain was telling me and soon I could no longer stop the words I heard inside my mind and dark mental illness box. I obeyed the commands inside my head. They ordered me and I obeyed with the inability to stop the demons and darkness inside me. I followed the commands inside my mind. I thought there was no other choice but to end my life.
That is what happened to me and my brain on the morning I should have died, after my last suicide attempt. After surviving my suicide attempt, my brain and I felt dead for days until I began to see a small flicker of light peek through the blackness of my mental illness box. My spark of hope began to flicker. My window of hope inside my dark mental illness box grew larger every day until I saw beautiful visions of hope and faith.
I could finally see outside my mental illness box. The view was beautiful. The more beauty I saw the greater my hope. The more hope I had the larger my window of opportunity became. As soon as my window of opportunity became large enough I jumped out my window head first and never looked back.
I still see glimpses of my mental illness box in my rear view mirror, but my visions of the mental illness box continue to decrease on my beautiful journey to recovery and wellness.
I dream of one day living my life free from the stigma of mental illness and…
free from inside a mental illness box.
~written by Susan Walz
Be brave and…
If you are living inside your mental illness box, please keep fighting and try to live outside of the box. I am not saying to live without mental illness. I am saying do not become stuck inside your mental illness box. Break free and learn to live near your box and use your mental illness to enhance your life in any way you can. Please do not let mental illness consume you and stop you from living a purposeful life. Don’t let mental illness stop you from seeing the beauty of the world.
I know when you are in the stuck inside a mental illness box and can only see blackness and darkness it seems like you will never see the light of life again.
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I am here to tell you, there is a light. Look for that flicker of light and hope and when you find them never lose sight of them—no matter what size they are. When you see that flicker of hope, hang on to that rope of hope for dear life. At first your hope might just be a thread of hope but I promise you soon it will grow into a large rope of hope.
You can break free from living inside a mental illness box. Freedom from living inside your mental illness box is necessary for your survival, recovery and wellness. You can do it. Rip that box into shreds and live the life you deserve to live outside of the confines of your mental illness box.
It is okay to have a mental illness.
It is okay not to be okay, but please remember never give up.
I am here to tell you and PROMISE YOU that recovery and wellness are possible.
I am an example and living proof of that.
Much love and hugs, Sue
“A comfort zone is a beautful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~ unknown
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