I’m not Crazy, I’m just a Little Unwell…..

Service Dog

‘The guilt I felt for having a mental illness was horrible. I prayed for a broken bone that would heal in six weeks. But that never happened. I was cursed with an illness that nobody could see and nobody knew much about.’

-Andy Behrman-

It started almost 15 years ago with the feeling that I was living apart from the general public and my friends, on some other planet. I did not try to explain the way I felt to anyone because I did not understand it and even if I did I could find no coherent way to vocalize it.

We believe the earth is not flat, we believe space travel is possible, we believe in psychics and mediums and most believe in some sort of afterlife. But virtually every week I experience the resistance of someone believing that mental illness is not “all in your head”.

I am advised that I ‘just need to fight harder’. That I just need to read the right book. That I just need to make my mind up to be happy. That I need to compare my wonderful life to those who are really suffering. And occasionally I am told to ‘just deal’.

I have voluntarily entered myself into mental facilities, spoken to countless psychologists and psychiatrists, tried various cocktails of medications, journaled, exercised, self-affirmed, volunteered and tried dozens of other therapies I have been advised to try.

I have been stigmatized at work (confidentiality is a fairy-tale), had my work ethic questioned, been turned down for financial assistance, lost friends who could not understand my fear of leaving my house and kept my mouth shut when my poor, beloved Momma says she can tell I am finally ‘back to my old self’. I don’t even notice the ubiquitous eye-rolls that much anymore. I have stopped trying to convince people that my dog is not a Service Dog simply because I want to take him into hotels, banks, post offices and other public places that scare the crap out of me. They have not seen me crawl down to the foot of my bed, wrap my arms around Ca$h burying my face in his wrinkly neck and implore him to make it all better and keep me safe.

But you know what else I do? I over-celebrate.

New follower to my blog? Party! Straight 8 hour plus workday with no nap? National Holiday! Address a classroom of dozens of youngsters? I am the bravest person I know. And when someone tells me they love what I have drawn, written or said to them? Why the HELL am I not running for President?

Newsflash: this post is not for you folks who do not understand mental illness. If modern day science and the proof of current research has not convinced you  – I sure as heck can’t.

No, this post is for those of you who found yourselves reading these humble words and nodding your head. Those who feel that inner lift whenever you realize that you are not the only one feeling what you feel. I hope it helped.

And now please excuse me – my Service Dog is grumping at me to take him out for a Walkie. Small price to pay.

This entry was posted in Anxiety, Depression, dog adoption, Service Dog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to I’m not Crazy, I’m just a Little Unwell…..

  1. Charles Ray says:

    So glad You and Ca$h found each other ❤

  2. operahell says:

    Dogs are truly a gift – they understand us better than we understand ourselves. I smile every time I see the pawprint bumper sticker “Who rescued who?” because it is so true.

    I don’t suffer from the same level of anxiety you describe here, but I can honestly relate – and anyone who can stare at you in the face and say “it’s all in your head” has probably been fed that line for so long they actually believe it – or worse, they are simply hiding their own issues. Mental health is something *everyone* has or will struggle with in this life. Being honest and open about it is very healthy, and I salute you for it.

    • Thank you so much for your awesome reply! As you say – my dog IS a gift – the Universe put him smack in my path. There is no denying it! And you are dead on about folks hiding their own issues – their resistance to reason is quite telling.

  3. This was really inspirational. I admire your strength to write this and for taking so much hate and for people thinking you’re faking it. I experience similar problems with my anxiety and panic attacks and people not believing they are something that actually cripple me with fear. I also relate to your dog being so much of a help to you cuz while my little 12 year old pug isnt a service dog she sure does make me smile when i feel like none else can, which is sometimes the best help of all. I also really admire you for being so open about your mental illness despite the people who give you a hard time. I just wanted to say i really related to this and look up to you for turning it into something that can help people and i promise you it is so when people give you a hard time just try to remember that. Thanks again for writing this 🙂

    • Thank YOU so much for letting me know that my words helped you out. To me, that’s the ultimate I can try for, honestly. I guess you just get to a point where you think “OK – I know YOU do not believe me, but there ARE folks out there who do. And THEY are the ones I’ll focus my energy on. THEY are the ones who see clearly – not the nay-sayers.
      And you are right – after many years I made peace with the fact that mental illness is NOT something to be ashamed of. It’s just a sickness of the mind much like diabetes is a sickness of the body.
      You reaffirming all of this will be a valued tool I will use when I have days I feel alone in the struggle. Thank you SO much for that gift!

  4. cyndy11 says:

    It is so nice to know I’m not alone. Your post described so much of me. I have bipolar disorder/anxiety/etc. I created this blog to house my thoughts, bc you may well know, memory is a bitch. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for the up-lift today. xo

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