By: Gary Bassler
Being a prisoner inside one’s own cranium is one of the darkest and loneliest places to be, and sometimes even the most dangerous.
For many of us living with mental illness that is exactly what it’s like. I personally have been beating myself up mentally for quite some time now. I have a disability hearing coming up and I have been feeling completely guilty for not earning a living yet I know from many years of experience that even if I were to find a job, I would not be able to keep it. I do not want to go into the details but I am sure there are others who can relate.
I have spent my entire life feeling like I was different and that I just didn’t fit in anywhere and now at 52 years of age it is still a very real and sometimes painful struggle. These issues are the biggest reason I had spent so many years using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, and to try to escape my own mind. I have been sober for 20+ years now but the struggle is still there.
I wrote a poem about it: (Joy in the bottle did never I find,
I was locked in a prison
Within my own mind.
Darkness and fear encircled my head,
Better I thought that I should be dead.)
That is not the whole poem but you get the idea. A feeling that so many have had and continue to have. The feeling of wanting to escape your own self is a horrible feeling. If you are anything like me you may feel like you cannot trust anyone enough to talk about it.
I have passed my crazy genes onto my daughter Samantha who has used her experiences to write a book, ( My Bi-Polar Mind) I myself do not write about most of my issues all that much because it causes me to start getting into my head again and that is a bad place to be.
Another issue I have always had is to compare myself to other people and the end result is always feeling like there is something wrong with me.
People may look at me and see a happy face but have no idea what is really going on inside of this head of mine. One thing I do have that helps is a good wife and my children and grandchildren, they give my life joy.
I don’t spend a lot of time alone but anytime that I do, my mind can start playing with me. Does anybody ever really win when you argue with yourself?
There are times when I will get butterflies in my stomach before leaving the house to go away. Anxiety is another very big part of my life, it keeps me from doing so many things.
Well at this point I have spent enough time looking at myself, I am going to say goodbye and go fold some laundry which relaxes me.