Does my life story, make for a good story? How many people think that their lives would make great stories? Be it through films or books.
I wanted to live off the land once. It was a great idea. This is also one of the many concepts that are usually used in movies about people with mental illness. The loon that lives in the wild, battling society’s institutions and rules.
As I am watching yet another movie about mental illness. About the star-crossed lovers. About their search for their own truth. About how their highs and their lows. About? ME! About crazy, special people like me! I am more than slightly upset because…. I see myself in these characters.
Because I had these friendships with other disordered people. I had these influences and inspirations. I saw these rhythms and patterns and codes… and it was beautiful and magical. God spoke to me in numbers and colours. And I never told anyone in raw detail – because I would have been labelled as crazier than I was. Crazy… I was never crazy. I was too alive. Too much light.
Someone wrote the storyline and script to this amazing movie. Someone is getting paid big bucks for this. For what could have been my life. I envy these characters and I understand them. Too bad they are fictional and don’t have to deal with how society would treat them outside of the 1 hour, 46 minutes and 25 seconds spent of the silver screen.
These movies anger me. These actors get to portray the challenges I face, my reality and get paid so much money yet… YET the entire world and society is telling me that I should be less like them, less ‘award-winning’ and more like everyone else. Normal… Functional…
Understanding goes a long way. Most times I wonder if I have enough of a willingness to understand my illness. I wonder because most days I can defend myself out of it and explain myself through it.
As I watch these movies I see myself and I mourn but I stay happy. If not for these movies, I wouldn’t be able to identify things in my own life. Some days I wonder about my sanity. Is it really fleeting? Nothing makes true sense here. I wonder if the younger me knew deep down that things would always be like this. If I wished and prayed hard enough God would turn me into a bird and I would fly away, I would look down on everyone who made fun of me and they would see that I truly am not like them.
Boy did that backfire, or did it? I am different. My medication reminds me every day. Yet victory was chosen when I decided to change my perspective about what the reminder was.
I am different. We are all different. Mental illness comes with gifts from a deep place. Yes sometimes it is very dark and other times the light and warmth is enough to incinerate you. But sometimes… in those secret times – when creativity flows like a broken faucet – there is freedom and peace in being Touched with Fire.