Limerance, doilies on turds, and other words

Anxiety is running a hamster ball in hell. As everything outside burns, the ball is slowly being filled with water. Like drowning while you’re being burned alive.

Depression is a riptide. The harder you try to reach the shore, the further you get pulled away.

ADHD is feeling like Elle Woods as a Playboy Bunny everywhere for everything.

Bipolar is a perpetual state of trying to make a left and a right turn simultaneously.

OCD is like that robot cleaning up its own hydraulic fluid.

CPTSD/PTSD is like following a broken GPS through a landmine field to an unknown destination.

And sometimes just having the words to describe it makes it better. If it can be described, it can be understood. If it can be understood, it’s neither terrifying nor unknown. Understanding is freedom.

Speaking of understanding and finding freedom: I learned a new word. Limerance. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a word that describes another shitty state of being. It’s where you’re “in love with” read: obsessed with/infatuated with someone who does not reciprocate those feelings. One word summarizes past decades of WTF. It unraveled past decades of WTF. Suddenly so many examples of why “I’m broken” become – all things considered – completely logical understandable byproducts of the letters that describe how the brain interacts with the world (aka diagnoses).

The mind is an incredible device. It copes with everything, but coping isn’t necessarily a good thing. Coping creates realities where someone who clearly does not love you loves you. And you will pine for them, you will do everything to “win their love”. Not because you really love them or they really love you, but because it’s … perhaps easier for your mind to create stories than it is to face the obvious. The obvious may hurt, and the mind does not like to hurt. So it hurts you to protect you. That’s probably a really apt description of mental illnesses as a whole – it is the mind hurting you to protect you.

Limerance seems like some ambiguous fate – that you’re destined to meet shitty people who don’t love you – or fall for people that don’t want you, whatever it is. But, it’s just a symptom of a disease. “Just” in the sense that there is no dark force controlling your life and setting you up for misery, “just” in the sense that this is manageable and treatable, and “just” in the sense that it is no different than realizing a cough is a symptom of a cold, limerance is a symptom of CPTSD/PTSD and other diagnoses too. It’s the mind being a janitor that puts doilies on a turd versus removing the turd. The janitor can always be taught to flush the turd in the toilet, not zhuzh it up.

Experiencing limerance is a convincing argument for being unlovable, unwantable, worthless, etc. It can be used as justification for all sorts of misery. Understanding limerance shows that love is there, it just needs to be given to self first. For me, and I’m sure others too because I had no clue this existed: sometimes just finding the words to describe, finding the words to explain the hell I’m in is the first step to getting out.

Once anything is observed, it can be described, and once it can be described, it can be understood. Once it can be understood, it can be forgiven. Forgiveness is just another word for freedom.

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