I have seen blog posts where people write a letter to their disability, well I liked the idea, but couldn’t choose which one, so thought as they all originate in my brain that I would address this letter to my brain.
I feel both love and hate for you, although far more hate than love, but there are times I do appreciate you.
I don’t understand you myself, all the different conditions you and therefore by default I have. All of the conditions overlap and trigger each other off, it can be extremely hard to understand what is each thing. Some may say does it matter, well for me it does, I have a need to know what is causing something. So brain maybe I spend hours, days, months and years researching our conditions because of that need to separate them as best as I can and perhaps that is frustrating, but then you are what is making me do it.
I can go for months at a time hating you, not feeling a single positive emotion about you, hating everything about you. The emotional and mental pain you cause, the extremes of emptiness and then the opposite of feeling terrible emotions so extremely. The days where my mood is swinging from one extreme to the other and I can’t keep up. Then there are the days I can’t leave my flat, you cripple me with anxiety, flashbacks swarm into my mind and you just allow them in, in fact you welcome them. The days or weeks where I hardly know who I am, because you become swamped by psychosis, but me at the time I believe everything you are telling me, everything the voices are saying and I fear for my life and my safety. I tell others what is going on and they say it isn’t real, they say things like ‘paranoia’ or ‘paranoid delusions’ and ‘hallucinations’ and it makes me so angry they don’t believe me, but then when the episode is over I can rationalise those things slightly, but they will always be there waiting to take over again. And then the constant dark thoughts which you seem so content to keep in me, but also the violent intrusive thoughts and images you project into me daily.
You’ll never let my body me still or quiet will you? Whether my tics are really noticeable or not, they are always there. The subtler ones others don’t notice, the sniffing, grimacing or muscle clenching. Maybe something has happened and the anxiety you cripple me with has taken over and my response is to suppress my tics, but you know as well as me that soon they will erupt, and yet you still suppress them as much as is possible.
We will never understand how others communicate, because you are wired differently to what people see as ‘the norm’ yet for years no one picked up on our struggles, we were left to battle through and yet the symptoms of Asperger’s were so obvious. Do you wonder like me why no one picked it up sooner? And now we are left battling for an ‘official’ diagnosis because the ‘unoffical’ diagnosis from three separate medical professionals isn’t enough. You cause me to really struggle with communicating with others and it makes even the simplest of things bloody hard. You cause me to have sensory issues, which can make leaving my flat impossible.
Am I bad for hating you so much for all of the above (and more)?
Then, however, the conditions which cause the above, can also mean that I feel positively towards you. I absolutely love that I am obsessed with the Tudor period of history and that learning dates is relatively easy for me. You tell me people hate me because they are bored with me always going on about the Tudor’s, but I have decided tough, my love of the Tudors harms no one and it gives me pleasure. Although my mental health is a bloody bugger, it can mean I can often sympathise with people easier and I think a lot of my determination comes from my mental illnesses.
For someone with social anxiety being in public can be terrifying and I just want to blend in, but tics tend to mean that, that is impossible and yet I don’t hate my tics (most of the time!) for that, they have actually given me a bit of confidence in a strange way.
So I know a lot of the time I hate you, I am externally or internally shouting at you, giving you abuse, in essence giving myself abuse, I do actually feel positively towards you underneath it all, love is too strong a word to use, I don’t love you yet, my mental illnesses stop that currently, but I don’t actually hate you. I just often hate the way you are and what you throw at me and make me feel, but then I have to remember the good bits and how actually without you, I wouldn’t be me.
So thank you brain.