Mental Illness and Crazy Block Goals
You can be anything you want to be. Dream it and you can be it. Do it now.
We have all heard these things. These are the things we tell our children. These are the some of the lies we tell our children.
Tell the Crazy They Can Do Anything they Want, I Dare You
[push]We’re trying to encourage our children to be who they want to be. We want them to get what they want.[/push]
And as far as lies go these ones aren’t bad. We are trying to encourage kids to be presidents, astronauts, fire engines (seriously, kids love fire engines), CEOs, police officers (they don’t want to be police cruisers for some reason), doctors, lawyers and so on. We want them to obtain their dreams. It’s so terribly noble of us, to lie to our children like that.
No, You Can’t Do Anything You Want
Of course doors for a person are closed the second they take their first breath. What is their race? What is their sex? Where are they born? Who are their parents? How much money do they have? Into what time are they born? What is the political climate? Are they born with a birth defect? Do they have a disability? Do they have an illness? And so on, and so on, and so on. And with every circle around the sun, more and more limitations are placed on them.
Life with Limited Opportunities is Still Limitless
This, of course, is OK. Life is still basically limitless. You can keep closing doors and still have an entire world of possibilities. Can’t be a heart surgeon? Be a veterinarian. Can’t be president? Become a member of congress. Can’t pee standing up? Learn to write your name in the snow with a stick. There are alternatives to everything. Whatever your goals today, they can be modified as time passes to allow for a fulfilled existence. Humans are good that way. We adapt.
Before I was Crazy, I Had Goals
And this is as true of me as anyone else. When I was a child I wanted to be a ballerina. Why? Because I wanted to wear a pink tutu. Then I realized I could wear a pink tutu anytime I wanted, and decided I didn’t want to unwrap my point shoes to find blood.
Then I wanted to take over my mother’s position as the head administrator at a dental office. Why? Because I thought she was the epitome of success (I was ten). Then I realized that her position led to a chronic stress-related condition and decided I didn’t like dentists anyway.[pull]And so on, and so on. Dreams come, and go, and are replaced with other things.[/pull]
I look at my life, and wonder what my new goals should be. I have goals, I really do. I have things I would like to get done. There are accomplishments I want to have in my obituary. I don’t want to just be, whatever this is, forever.
Crazy is Blocking My Goals
But there’s a problem, of course there is. I’ve tried on some goals. I’ve laid them on top, wiggled around, and seen if they fit. Some do, some don’t, like everyone, there are options.
The problem is, I look at the goal, out bobbing up and down ahead of me, and there is a huge obstacle in my way. There is the crazy, and the crazy is a force with which to reckon.[push]Crazy has a great real estate agent, and its carpenter is no slouch either.[/push]
There is a space in my brain, a space that used to hold memories of white pet bunnies, polynomial equations, and how to knit one purl two, that is now overtaken by bipolar. The crazy has set up house there. In fact it isn’t a house, it is a mansion of crazy. It has wings, and maids, servant’s quarters, and crazy butler’s pantries.
And there is the crazy, carved in stone, under lacquered wood, and in stained glass, before me. It sprawls over the neighbors and dwarfs those that approach it, and I think if you look closely, you’ll see there is a moat and a portcullis to be dealt with, if ever you were actually to get that close to crazy.
Sometimes Goals Are Taken Away, Even from the Non-Crazy
Sometimes when your goal is taken away, you don’t know what to do. Sometimes you counted on one experience so much that when it disappears, you’re lost and have nothing solid to hang on to. People then usually go through some kind of crisis. You see it when women who really want kids can’t have them, or when a spouse dies, or when a person becomes disabled. Their lives shift so suddenly they didn’t know what to do. But with few exceptions, these people do get back up, dust themselves off, and work towards something new. They are injured, but they have survived.
No Matter What I Do, Crazy Stands Between Me and Most Everything Else
But for me, no matter what I pick, there is always the same roadblock ahead. Everything I want to do is delayed, destroyed, decimated, by the crazy. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to climb it, go around it, get over it, get under it, get through it, destroy it. It’s just always there. It’s the indomitable foe. It’s that which cannot be conquered.
I feel like whatever I have not accomplished now, I will never do. I feel like it’s over. There’s no where to go. There’s nothing to do. I’m done. We all have a limited amount of time on the planet and it feels like my useful working hours have come to a close. Now I’m just treading water. Or surviving waterboarding. It’s tough to tell.
The Goal Always Seems to be Not Dying From the Crazy
[push]All my life is devoted to dealing with crazy, trying to stop it from expanding the east wing, blocking more of the sunlight and further raising property taxes.[/push]
I feel like this is no life at all. It’s a war of attrition. Parts of me die, parts of it are destroyed, but in the end nobody wins. It’s too strong to defeat, but it hasn’t won. So we stand, staring at it each, over the line in the sand. Fighting for inches. Winning then loosing. Loosing then winning. Forever more, it is always the same. Crazy and I are at an impasse.
Is Not Dying a Goal Worth Living For?
So what about that is worth continuing? Fight the good fight? Fight the fucked fight. A life destined by the stars. No tutus, or engines, or pianos, or dentists to be found. Just fighting, blood, and death. And yet suicide is supposed to be wrong. Giving up is supposed to be wrong. One day someone will have to explain that to me. I can hit them in the head with a two-by-four every two minutes and tell them it will never end, and then they can tell me why they should live another 40 years. That would required some seriously fervent and advanced logic and desire. Any takers?
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.