Wondering If It’s All Been An Illusion

two Siamese fighting fishes

Fair warning, Pisces season is on the horizon and while I haven’t gotten *emo* in years, this is my element, and reflecting on weird shit is my jam.

content warning (cw): mention of suicidal ideation

I’m somewhere between imagining a mental illness or living with something undiagnosed. Therapy is helping to sort that out. Not gonna lie, when they said OCD instead of Bipolar, the most eureka of eureka moments went off in my head. That would explain sooooo much.

We’ve come a long way from the *endlessly washing of hands* as a way to determine if someone has obsessive-compulsive disorder. These things present themselves in people differently, and the same could be said about most illnesses.

Disabilities have a long way to go in getting normalized as a general condition that most, if not all of us deal with. I never considered myself as having disabilities until I started peeping conversations with advocates who helped reframe what it meant to live with disabilities.

I wear glasses. I cannot drive without them. I am in a blurry haze without the perks of being high whenever I walk around with my glasses.

I have asthma. I take medication for it daily. I can go days, weeks, and sometimes months without them but in the wrong climate, I wouldn’t last very long without my inhaler.

I have anxiety, and while I’m pretty unapologetic about it now, this was totally NOT the case for most of my life. I’ve always had anxiety. It wasn’t until my 40s that I realized how debilitating it can be and very likely HAS ALWAYS been.

I take meds at night to help me sleep. Can I sleep without them? Sure. Do I want to? Hell no.

Without them, I have persistent intruding thoughts until I fall asleep, which is often well past the witching hour of 3:30am.

For what it’s worth, my experience with persistent intruding thoughts can lead me down a rabbit hole where I run the risk of having a hypomanic episode, suicidal ideations, or both. Throw in high-functioning depression and sleep deprivation, then you can see why I no longer hesitate to pop a pill.

Unmanageable insomnia is a gateway for other stuff which I actively work to avoid. We can totally talk about this in-depth at another time.

I’ve got a grasp of my chronic asthma and nearsightedness. I look cute in glasses so it works for me. The anxiety is taking me some time to manage consistently. I used to struggle with recognizing anxiety as something I had to deal with.

I had a recent breakthrough where I had to give myself permission for needing the assistance of medication to manage the anxiety.

I come from a school of thought where you don’t talk about your problems. You suck them in and learn to live with discomfort and misery and when I say “school of thought” please know that the women who raised me are also the headmistresses of that school.

Then there’s the shame and stigma of prescription medication because I “should” be able to manage my symptoms without the interference of pills. And if I need support, homeopathic remedies *should* suffice.

No amount of St. John’s Wort or breathing techniques are going to help me out of a panic attack. Nor will they provide me with the support I need to change my thinking, habits, and behaviors to move toward sustainable healing.

I get it. Holistic approaches do help some but we are all dynamic beings and the condescending attitude I see from people who think they’re above needing prescription medication – I just hope they’re not in a position where they, one day, need the grace that they deny others.

I’ve been unraveling so much shit and I think part of it can be explained by Saturn finally leaving my 12th and 1st houses. Those past transits were a doozy, to say the least, but yay Pluto is about to rock my world so there’s that!

The unraveling I’ve been doing, at times feels cathartic but also profoundly sad.

I’m learning that I don’t want to be who I was but the result of that breakthrough is realizing how many people were invested in the older version of me. Not everyone is coming with me and that’s something I wasn’t emotionally ready for.

I’ve been angry. I’ve been messy. I’ve been intolerable. To all the wrong people, I am unlikeable.

In many ways, I’ve been the low-vibration person who deflects attention from my shortcomings because it’s easier to judge situations that have nothing to do with me.

I was a straight-A student in the toxic school of thought that I mentioned earlier, making the headmistresses proud I was following in their footsteps despite acknowledging that I was walking on hot coal.

So much of healing is about fixing a wound but what if the wound doesn’t need fixing?

What if the wound is simply a mark that we just allow to be?

I wonder if we are the wound since we spend so much time trying to fix ourselves to an unrealistic standard of perfection.

Because if I didn’t need to get “fixed” then why am I in therapy?

If I don’t need to get “fixed” then why am I taking meds to balance out my moods?

If I don’t need to recalibrate then why does my body act against my own best interest?

I wonder a lot. Maybe I am imagining a life free of trauma. Maybe that vision doesn’t exist. Not because healing is impossible but perhaps healing shouldn’t be the end goal because healing a wound doesn’t make it go away.

The scar is always a reminder that there was something to treat.

Maybe the scar is meant to leave a mark, not to commemorate the wound but to remind us that we are human with imperfections and those sacred blemishes are opportunities for connecting with others who share the same badge of *fill in the blanks.*

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