Even when I was young, I knew there was something not quite right. I knew I wasn’t normal. I never knew what was going on exactly. When I was nineteen, I knew I probably had schizophrenia. I even mentioned this to a university counsellor. The problem was nothing major had surfaced. There was anxiety mainly. Social-phobia that came and went. I have described it in other posts before as a cycle or spiral of behaviours that would eventually normalise again. In one of my fiction books, a character suddenly realises that the period had stopped and there was no going back to normal.
There was always a tendency to hide my true feelings. I was ashamed of my mental illness. Even when I was as young as nine or ten, I felt ashamed of myself. I knew even then I wasn’t like the other kids. I had bizarre dreams and strange fears that were haunting. I felt people were out to get me. It is hard work trying to act normal when you don’t feel normal. For years I thought my inner trauma had roots in specific events. These events were traumatic, but there was something else going on. I could reason as much as I could, but nothing ever felt right.
After years of treatment, I felt mentally healthy, even though I still had issues. I could sleep properly for the first time in my life. Then I embraced mental illness and stopped feeling ashamed of it. Maybe by being so brazen, I have lost friends and people dear to me. I can’t blame those people because they have their own lives. I can look self-centred and selfish for being so public about intimate subjects. Also, I am only as good as I am useful to others. I have failed a lot of people and said and done the wrong things. Even though I no longer suffer, I still have problems. The only difference is I am no longer ashamed of having a mental illness.