When I was young, two seeds were planted in my mind. The first and strongest was, “I can do anything, if I set my mind to it.” The second was, “I am crazy.” My nature is stubborn and combative, so my life was dedicated to proving everyone wrong while making everyone proud of me. I realize now, that in fighting, I fed and nurtured it so much that those two seeds have grown into redwood pillars of my psyche. As life has worn down my childlike wonder and optimism, they became the same size, while I would fight or escape. I only recently started living.
Those roots were my root – the base instinct – fight or flight. I would either bash down walls with my stubborn skull or run like the wind to escape my problems. Those words echoed in my mind like mantras, driving me all over creation, spinning my wheels in quicksand. When I was in the mental hospital and I could not sleep, I saw an episode of I Love Lucy, with a two headed dragon arguing with itself. I realized that was me. I contradict myself in every breath – how can I prove everyone wrong while making them proud? Why do I even care?
Every thing I do – “Yes you can, no you can’t. I’m strong, no you are crazy. The world is better off without you…”
The world is better off without you first manifested when I was 14 and began journaling. I remember sitting in my 8th grade English class writing those words. When those words bled on paper, my fight to stay alive began. I became two – the strong, bright, radiant me and the angry, dark, shadow. A friend had told me, in January, when I started feeling my psyche shift that I had to speak to “the other woman”, and I think she meant I had to speak to…me. This schism in myself has become so pernicious that my psychologist has taken to reassuring me at every session that I am not schizophrenic – that’s how scared I had become of myself. I saw Jung’s shadow self.
I could actually feel the shifts in my psyche, where sometimes I was very positive, spiritual, driven, and full of belief that I was here for a reason, and others I was despondent, terrified, doubting, and convinced I should die. These thoughts to happen every day, but now it was heightened, as if the volume of the chaos as been turned up to 11. I finally realized that I do not actually drive the vehicle of myself. My basic instincts and/or the opinions of any human I interact with drove me.
Last night, I had errands to run, and I decided to drive around. I used to drive with music blaring to drown out my thoughts, but now I actually just let myself be immersed in it. As Pantera’s, “The Sleep” came on, the thoughts started, but the volume stayed the same. I stopped fighting, because I finally started driving my own mind. I saw on Spirit Science on YouTube, “Your Thoughts Create Reality.” and I had an epiphany. If the arguing dragon is to be quieted, I need to stop fighting, start accepting, and stop thinking crap into reality. By writing “The world is better off without me” I started a 20 year battle of suicidality – daily intrusive thoughts of killing myself, daily arguments of not to kill myself.
By arguing that I am or am not crazy, I have perpetuated a lifelong battle against myself and the world. I couldn’t tell you what exactly shifted, but one day I woke up and realized, “Why the fuck am I so concerned with being crazy? I think everyone else is batshit crazy!!!” I’ve contended for years now that I am not biologically ill; I was not born this way. I firmly believe the world is making me and a lot of others sick. Diagnoses aside, I am empathetic, I am a highly sensitive person; I am so fucking tired of applying labels to attempt to explain myself. Two different people said to me, “You are you.” Fuck I love that. I am an itchy assed woman who is sick and tired of perpetual swamp ass because I could not cope in this world.
In Siddhartha, he says addicts and brahmans/samaans are doing the same – they seek to escape the present, to find something better. Smoking/Drinking/Drugs are/were like that. Even my own arguing brain is an attempt to escape reality, I don’t want to deal with anything. I want to stay inside my mind, because I can “control it”. I give myself the illusion of doing something by thinking myself to death and being the passenger of my own mind.
Driving my own mind involves self care which takes a lot of time and focus. Between yoga, meditating, and writing, it’s not a passing commitment. Echoing in my mind is “Uhh, you have to go back to work…” I get my kids to school, I feel wiped, so I do yoga to re-center. I meditate. I write. I journal…It’s 11:56 right now, and I’ve done all of these. I haven’t touched any “household” stuff and I clearly am not working still. HOW? How can I remain healthy when being healthy is work? I think, but I need money, I need money. Then I feel sick that I make myself sick to live. I know I’m not the only one. Russell Brand did a Trews on how our materialistic society is making us all ill. I used to think my Coach purse, Uggs, and whatever would make me happy and nothing works quite like getting lost in my car blasting some good music. Even with these thoughts churning up last night, I stayed happy, because the sky was too beautiful.
That fucking voice… The voice that actually robs me of my happiness. That questions my joy. That makes me afraid to be happy. The trigger of my fight or flight, that literally makes me fight or escape my. own. goddamn. happiness. I realized that is my deepest, biggest, trigger. Those words kick it all off for me. I am happy, so I must be crazy. I am [insert emotion here], so I must be crazy.
Not today, I thought, as I stared at the sky. The Sleep ended and Never Again by Breaking Benjamin started. Holy shit, could lyrics not match my life better. The blue was incredible. There were wisps of clouds floating by, and birds soaring here and there. The moon was enormous. I’ve never seen that color blue. It dawned on me how many skies I’ve missed stressing about money or telling myself what a piece of shit I am. It dawned on me how rarely I looked up at the sky, save when I’m standing outside smoking a cig and thinking “What the fuck…?” I guess, that was my first real prayer. I think it’s a lot of people’s, because it seems as though addictions are on the rise. Seems like so many of us are desperately trying to escape our reality.
As my mind questioned my happiness, I kept my eyes on the sky, and I said thank you for the good day. I promised myself to spend even more time staring at the sky, more time being happy seeing birds fly by. I promised myself to cling to the good moments and start forgetting the bad. Just like that, the two headed dragon went to sleep. I came home, I snuggled with my baby, as I watched our dog lick his hands and face, and saw his face break out into his adorable grin – he squinches up and looks like a little anime boy, except he’s real, he’s mine, and I get to kiss him goodnight every night. I tossed stuffed animals at my oldest, and I kissed him too, because he’s real, he’s mine, and I get to kiss him goodnight every night. I piled blankets and stuffed animals on my daughter like a mountain, because it makes her laugh, because she’s real, she’s mine, and I get to kiss her goodnight every night. It’s time for that other tree to die, because it made me make my nightmares reality and live every day in Hell.
As I closed my eyes, I realized it was the first day in a long time, I did not think about killing myself. Because, I have a new tree growing rather quickly. My life is heaven, my life is mine, and my dreams are coming true every time I wake.