Making Myself Right

Making Myself Right
Dane La Born

Dane La Born

There’s a popular cliche about mental health being the most complicated thing to treat. It’s a cliche for a reason, as most cliches are.

There’s this stigma when we talk about mental health. When someone gets cancer, they aren’t blamed for having the cancer. When someone has a degenerative disease, chronic pain, even the common cold… We never blame them for being sick. But when someone is severely depressed, or suffering from anxiety, anorexia, agoraphobia, or any number of things that present themselves internally, often privately, they are mocked, stigmatized, or blamed.

Because of that stigma, mental health, and our discussions of it, carry a strange shame. It’s not our fault, but the way it’s spoken of, you’d think it was. I have a multitude of issues, both physical and mental, and it often feels like I’m blamed for being the way I am. The world just simply isn’t built for people with brains like mine.

Personally, I despise medication, but I have literally no other option. Even then, it’s a balancing act of what works, what doesn’t; an endless sequence of trial-and-error to try and get it right, to try and get myself right, to be normal.

Normal is relative, supposedly, but there’s definitely a baseline. It’s not normal to want to die for no reason. It’s not normal to feel like screaming because there are too many people, too many colors, too much going on. It’s not normal to not want to leave your house and spend time with friends because you hate being outside your environment for any period longer than a doctor’s appointment or grocery trip.

So I shove a multitude of pills down my gullet and hope that the chemicals I don’t understand will interact with the other chemicals inside my mind that I barely understand and let me function like a normal human being for a day.

That’s another cliche, mostly about depression. “One day at a time.” What kind of life is it, though, to just force yourself to push through to the next monotonous, mundane day? What’s the point of just going through the motions, isn’t there supposed to be more to life than that?

Or maybe there really isn’t. We are just animals, after all, born of base instinct no matter how much we gussy ourselves up with innovation and industry. Ashes to ashes and all that. Maybe there isn’t a point, and we’ve just evolved far enough to where our constant desire and striving for greater and bigger things overtakes that survival instinct. I can’t think of any other reason, biologically or scientifically, why anyone would want to just die for no reason.

As I write this, I’m readying myself for a doctor’s appointment during which I am, for the umpteenth time, going to try and get myself balanced out. It’s hard not only because of all the aforementioned factors, but also because I’m a 28 year old male from a generation that made abusing pharmaceuticals into a practical profession. We’re regarded with suspicion at best and indifference at worst, which is a shame, since many of us have legitimate health issues that require treatment they’re unwilling to give for fear of feeding an addiction that doesn’t exist.

What can you do but try to survive, though? Thus is life.

Categories: Commentary