January 12th was a defining day for me. Early morning, around 1 a.m. I was listening to music, working on what I thought would be my first creative idea. ‘The Arsonist’ came through my headset and all thought stopped. I had a flashback to a similar night years ago. The night I discovered my personal version of the ‘The Arsonist’.
I dropped what I was doing, knowing I had to make ‘The Arsonist’ my first project. Within 6 hours it was complete and posted. I threw out a tweet to Andre Obin just to say thank you, never expecting anything in return. It was a exciting morning for me. This was the first time in years I did something imaginative on any format.
I was finally tired and on my way to find some sleep, when I heard my phone chime. After I looked at it, my head was swimming. Andre Obin responded back to me. It was a defining moment for me. His few words of acknowledgement gave me something I lost long ago. It brought on tears I could not contain. He unknowingly gave me something I haven’t felt in a long time. Self-Worth.
One of the first bricks I needed for my new road in life. Again, I have to thank Andre for that building block. I plan on putting this little message in a frame, so I can look to it when times are tough. After my flood of tears was spent, so was I, I instantly feel asleep.
Later in the day shortly after I got up, a wave of exhaustion rolled over me. It stopped me in my tracks. It was a good reminder of something I had forgotten, concentrating is mentally tiring work. I happy that I was tired, it’s been to long since I felt this way.
I felt this was the time to let a few close family members know of my website. This was the another defining moment for me. My wife and I hid a lot of my illness from friends and family. We both lost friendships over my illness. The two of us agreed we didn’t want to scare or worry our family so we never talked much about it. Mostly it because people don’t understand mental illness.
“Just get over it”
“Isn’t there a pill for that”
“He’s just lazy”
Opening up to people is difficult, anyone with mental illness can tell you this. You lose trust in others because of what they ignorantly say. “Just get over it”, “Isn’t there a pill for that”. “He’s just lazy”, “You’re weak”. Worse is when they ignore you or treat you differently. It wears a person down; it helps reinforce the lies you tell yourself. Those were defining moments too.
But, I have to do this, I have to open myself to potential hurt again. It’s terrifying. Its inevitable but I have to trust in the the skills and coping tools I’ve developed over the last decade to deal with those situations. I have to focus on the positive moments, learn to let go of the negative. I choose to do this now. I have to, It’s part of life and I want to live again.