(This post is dedicated to and inspired by the bravery of The Bloggess, who reached out to over 200 000 Twitter followers and countless other Facebook followers and blog readers today with her devastatingly honest narrative of her own struggles with depression. Jenny, thank you thank you thank you.)
I’ve been pretty much surrounded by batshit crazy for the last few months. Oh, let me be honest: things are often batshit crazy in my world. That’s part of what living with mental illness is. My flavour of crazy is, as far as I’ve been told, moderate to severe depression and anxiety. I’ve been like this forever, and now I’m raising a child who looks about as crazy as I am. I’m going to choose to see that as a blessing, in spite of how unfuckingbelievably hard it is sometimes: it could be so much harder for my kid if I didn’t have such intimate knowledge of what crazy can look like.
Recently, after my child’s most recent crisis (it’s password-protected, so if you really want to read it, let me know), the adults in this kid’s life decided to own up to our crazy. We stand with you, child, in our shared crazy. I never want this kid to think that a mental health crisis is a shameful secretive thing. I want them to grow into a strong crazy adult who knows when to ask for help, and isn’t afraid to do so.
That’s a shitload of work, though, y’all. And I’m tired. So tired. I’m in the middle of a loooooong depressive episode. Not my worst, but not fabulous. Wait lists abound for help with this, and a whole lot of people in my life are also, well, crazy. Empathetic as hell, but tunneling out of their own dark holes. So, what am I going to do to fight my way back to the surface? ‘Cause I am, you know. Fighting. All the damned time.
Here’s my plan: listen to the Bloggess. It’s a simple plan, really. I need to do more things that make me furiously happy. I’m not so much for climbing inside wolf pelts, tauntaun-style, or buying giant metal chickens, but I need to do more to revel in my innate ridiculousness. I need to remember that woman who ran away to join the circus. I need to stand in front of friends and strangers and test my spelling skills, and leave the stage more naked than when I started. I need to splash in puddles, start bizarre and inappropriate conversations with my children on public transit, knit while walking. I need to remember that all of those things and more come from me, and make me happy. And then I need to make them happen.
2011 was stupidly hard, and I forgot myself too many times. 2012? Is the year of being furiously happy as often as I can be. It may sometimes be an effort in faking it until I make it, but I will make it. And I’m taking that crazy kid of mine along for the ride.