Personal experience with mental illness
|I sat on the polished hard wood, my arms wrapped about my knees, the soothing, melancholy strains of the Beatles issued from the speaker beside me. I felt a kinship with the people in the song, I was mundane, inconsequential, I was Eleanor Rigby, wearing the face that I kept in a jar by the door, one of the lonely people.
I played the song over and over again, retreating farther and farther into my self with each repetition. I pondered my own existence, trying to figure out what it was all for. I had no pretty illusions of a grand purpose to delude my self with. There would be no saint waiting for me at heavens gate to judge my deeds. Besides if there was I would be certain to be found wanting. Would I then be led by Virgil into the depths of Hades, to purge me of the remnants of my sinful life? Which circle of hell would I be vanquished to, I wondered? How did they decide when your sins were as varied as they were many?
I envied the masses their unquestioning and myopic delusions. It seemed that even the most intelligent of people were not immune to the soul sustaining promise of blissful eternity. It is at the precipice of predilection that all reason breaks down. Our longing for the eternal and our desire to give credence to a meaningless existence is so great, that even the staunchest logicians and the most brilliant of scientific minds when faced with the prospect of their own mortality are wont to put faith in specious axioms and absurdly antiquated doctrines.
Priests handed out bible quotes like prescriptions and people swallowed them dry. Questioning your faith? Take three John 3:16s and call me in the morning, if that doesn’t work, I’ve got some Job kicking around here somewhere, that should do the trick. Feeling morally deviant, I’ve got just the thing for that, what you need is a good dose of Sodom and Gomorrah, that’ll cure just about anything.
I had swallowed my fill, but instead of being healed by the promised magical cure, was left only with a pervasive feeling of indigestion.
I decided that it was time, no more waffling, I would finally end it. I had picked at the festering wound and still it refused to heal, the limb needed to be amputated. There was only one problem, the inevitability of the pain that would be involved. A car full of fumes sounded nice, I could fall into a pleasant slumber never to awake. I made a mental checklist, I could probably rummage up a hose, but the car would be a bit of a problem, seeing as I didn’t have one. There were always pills, but I had tried that twice already with limited success, I needed something fool proof.
I heard Ryan shout from the hallway, ”Would you please turn that down?”
I turned up the volume, feeling malicious and spiteful.
He stormed into the living room and turned the volume down,” Jesus Christ! You’re so fucking self-centered! What is your problem?”
I hurled a glass at him, and watched it shatter into a thousand tiny pieces at his feet.
“Get out! Just leave.”
I stood up and walked to the cupboard and reached for a bottle of Silent Sam wanting nothing more than blissful oblivion, then made my way out the front door, sans shoes.
The night was warm and the cloying scent of fresh earth and magnolias hung in the moist air, wrapping me in a cloak of sweet perfume. I could here the rush of the river not far off; it mingled with the sound of night insects to create a pleasant din.
It was dark in the shadow of the mountain, having grown up on the prairies, I had never realized how black night could be. Beyond the reach of the few street lamps, the world quickly lost it’s shape and became merely, a great and endless void. The sodium arc lamps cast an eerie pallor on the homes of the quiet neighborhood, making them seem more like looming, malevolent spirits than quiet, country homes.
I walked without aim or purpose, finally settling in an enclosed field near the local school and took refuge behind the fence to contemplate the next step in my as yet unformulated plan.
I sat; idly drawing patterns in the loose dirt with my index finger and took a few swigs of vodka. The cool liquid burnt my throat and settled in my stomach, creating a pleasant warmth that soon spread to my limbs. I was at a crux, something had to be done, I was certain I could no longer live with this gnawing at the center of my being, It had wormed it’s way through my brain and into my body, and now at the precipice, it loomed beneath my very flesh. It was only a matter of time before there was nothing left but an empty husk, where once a person had stood.
I now understood what it meant to “lose one’s mind,” as mine was nowhere to be found. I was certain it had been misplaced and subsequently switched with one that was completely foreign and wholly inferior to its predecessor.