Okay, I Am In Recovery

I am a recovering nut case. I have been in psychiatric wards several times throughout my life. Taken all kinds of medications, with varying degrees of success.

Eighteen  years ago, I was in a psychiatric hospital for the last time. Six years ago, I stopped all medication and have been med free since. I am doing well. Even through all of my insane years, I raised a family, helped to raise my grandchildren, ran a successful  business and have never missed a bill payment or gotten behind on my rent. I believe I am finally actually sane.  I am still silly, and have a warped sense of humour, but finally, I believe I am sane.

However...........not everyone is willing to concede the possibility.

The worst is when you finally get better, but NO ONE believes you. They still think that everything you do, is done because you are nuts. A sense of humour is suspect. You must be serious in all things, but then if you try that, they think it is all part of your insanity. You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Lighten up and they say you're nuts. Be serious, and they say you haven't yet gotten better.

Insanity is the hardest illness to come back from.

If you have cancer, and fight it and beat it, everyone is on your side, glad for you. If you get hit by a car and have a long recovery, people congratulate you on how strong you are and tell you how glad they are that you healed.

Fight a mental illness, and they never believe you have beaten it. By treating you as if you haven't recovered and are unlikely to ever be better, they make it almost impossible to actually get well and stay that way.

Why is mental illness treated as something we are doing to them? Why don't people recognize it as something that is happening to us? How can we make the people we love know that we are truly recovered?

I despair of ever being able to convince anyone that I am actually recovered from the insanity. 

If I get sad due to the bad things happening all around me, they think I should get back on my meds, or I will end up back in the hospital again. If I manage to keep my happy face in place in spite of all that is going on, they figure I must be nuts, because I am not crying about the crises we are all suffering. I am in a lose/lose situation.

But, I shall keep on keeping on, because I can.......................because I am after all, sane; and strong.
Serenitree Serenitree
70+, F
6 Responses May 14, 2012

The world has two kinds of people: those diagnosed as mentally ill and those undiagnosed.

I agree. However, some of us can become functional after suffering a total break with reality. I am still recovering. It is a daily struggle, but I persevere. Work really helps keep me centered and grounded.

I'm Bipolar so as long as I remain balanced I have no problem.I work hard to be calm and centered and have learnt how strong i really am.

aah my friend, we all are a little nuts, being yourself makes people need to label us. I have spent time in the nut house, went in and had fun there too. being treated again for sever depression. I know how to laugh and how to cry. Don't let others judge and label, just live your life to the fullest. They always gonna judge, let em judge. I have read your stories, love the quotes. So special you are my friend. Keep on laughing. :)

Thanks. It is nice to meet a person who can relate and understand, how people will judge.

Hiya, I understand what you are saying in your story but dont agree that people flock around with physical illness. In my experience people do shy away from mental illness but just as much cancer, stroke, disfigurement, anything that makes them feel ill at ease themselves and threatened by the fact that life is full of surprises and they are not all nice ones.

No, I didn't say the flock around when you are physically ill. I said, IF you recover from a physical illness, they congratulte you and tell you how wonderful it is that you are all better, but if it is a mental illness, they never believe that you are actually well.

Ah, yes I see. Very good point.

.You are brave and strong, and have beat this insidious illness. And i can relate, when i went through a major depression years ago, they all ran away in fear that it was catching! the stigma of mental illness is ridiculous, and when you get better, no one validates how hard you have worked to.overcome it! i got more support when i got the flue! <br />
you are sane!<br />
and real, honest and a survivor! good on you!

Yes, exactly. If you have a physical illness (even something that IS contagious) people will flock around and give you all the sympathy and support you need, but get depressed and they run away.

They say that if you can admit that you are a little nuts in some ways that that is the definition of sanity--the really insane ones have no clue.<br />
You are about as far from insane is one can get. That being said, there is a stigma out there that I am well aware of. Perhaps it is up to us--as recovering nutcases-- to dispel the myth once and for all. Mental health issues happen to the best of us. The ones who cannot admit that are the ones who are really at a disadvantage. Recognizing weaknesses and overcoming them is what makes a person really strong. I could lift a mountain after what I have been through. Together we could probably move it. Here's to helping each other push.

GMP you to me seem like one of the sanest folks I know. You are funny and compassionate and strike me as a person who is willing to jump in to help anyone.<br />
<br />
Please don't let anyone make you think otherwise and don't change anything about yourself cause you're great just the way you are.

Thank you so much jacee. That is about the nicest thing anyone has said to me in many years. I appreciate it, more than you can imagine.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that, just the first to say it :-)

Thanks Merlokitty. It's nice to hear that.