When I announced my blogging hiatus, I made it complete. I had already begun a bit on a hiatus from all personal social media. At least that’s what I intended it to be. In fact, I’ve decided not to reactivate my fb account, not even a little. I’m both happier and healthier without it.
But that leaves me with a massive dilemma, bigger in every way than the one I recently wrote about.
You see, it wasn’t just the social media I dropped out of, I dropped out of sight and from the lives of a number of friends I had gotten to know that way. Actually, I dropped out of sight of pretty much all of my friends, period. I had to, for my own mental health. Though I think I confused the issue further by maintaining the fb page for this blog, as well as its Twitter feed — things that, contrary as they seemed, I also had to do for my own mental health.
Thing is, it isn’t really something most people understand, and I don’t especially blame them. But it also isn’t really something I can explain well. It definitely would involve a great many things that I don’t like to discuss, in part because I don’t like revisiting the ugly things I go through during an episode, and in part because I really don’t know how to wrap words around what happens when severe illness hits me. Not in any kind of way that makes sense to anyone.
I don’t think people understand how stressful it is to explain what’s going on in your head when you don’t even understand it yourself. ~ Sara Quin
Now an argument could be made, in fact it often is, that if people can’t accept things like these — me being ill, dropping out because it was the only thing I knew to do, not being able to give a reasoning or explanation as to why — then they aren’t really true friends and I’d be just as well rid of them.
Me, I happen to disagree with that philosophy, generally speaking. Yes, there is truth that some people don’t deserve explanations, and I probably am well rid of them. But pretty much everyone I consider a friend does deserve some accounting from me. They are good, caring people who have shown me a great deal of love and kindness in the past.
That’s where we hit the wall with things, at least in my own experience. The understanding thing. Because I have lost people before because they honestly just could not understand what I was dealing with. They loved me more than anyone ever has or will, they tried with everything in them to understand, they wanted so desperately to understand, they went so far beyond for me in trying to understand, but in the end, they honestly could not.
First of all, I really don’t want to add to the body count of those I’ve lost in my life through a lack of understanding. As I said, it has the been people who loved me most who really got burned. I certainly couldn’t help the situation, because I was far too ill to even attempt explanations. But in years intervening, I have come to my own understanding of things.
What it boils down to is that they lacked the ability to understand in the same way I lacked the ability to control my moods, emotions, and behaviors. I wanted to. I tried to, with everything in me. I went above and beyond and desperately used every method at my disposal to try to control myself, with some disastrous and life-altering consequences. And before anyone says a word, it isn’t different for me simply because I have multiple mental health diagnoses as my reason. It’s not, not when someone truly loves you — and those who loved me tried every bit as hard as I did, and so should be judged by the same metric.
I would give anything to have come to my own place of understanding sooner, because maybe I could have saved some of these relationships. But I cannot travel back in time and heal the past, can I? All I can do is move forward with the lessons I have learned, and try to apply them to present and future circumstances. To try to keep the people I care about now from drifting from my life completely and forever.
The problem, of course, is that I have no tidy (nor even untidy) way to explain what went on in my head and in my life these past months. And without those words with which to reach out, what have I?
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