Walking in Shadows

I am I sat here wondering “Am I trying to change myself, break away from myself, become myself or just playing ego games?” and I don’t feel I’m in a position to answer that clearly.

When I look into the darkness of the blurred and confused sides of what I see as a part of who I am, I don’t know if I can be proud of that, even though I know I have to acknowledge it and accept it for what it is. How could something so deep seated be so shallow? I am reluctant to disclose the details and I will keep it close to my chest for now, but when we get lost in what we thought was healthy for us, only to find that there’s something seriously wrong about what we’re doing, it’s a challenge to know how to proceed. Do we actively make choices to alter our behaviour for the better or do we avoid situations where our undesirable behaviour has a chance to act out, or both? Is the behaviour really as ill or much of a problem as we believe? Could it be linked to a certain scenario unrelated to it but more distressing? There’s likely many different answers and possibilities.

Stepping out of my home to walk the streets of my town put me ill at ease. Getting out of isolation after being sucked into it for so long feels like pulling on a cord that screams at me to turn back and return. The world is alien and I see where I’m failing as a human being. Being a part of the the community and connecting with others feels impossible, but maybe if I spend long enough out exploring it my attitude will change. Is a small manageable, reasonably safe and familiar existence worth holding on to when the outside environment with all the potential people to meet and experiences to have and see awaits? What really matters in the grand scheme of things? If only I could say for sure.

The Desire to Breakthrough

For me, living in isolation is a double-edged sword. On one side there is the familiar security of living in my own space and the comfort of a simple routine, then on the other side there is the neglectful behaviour, where I don’t tend to my needs and when depressed I keep digging a hole deeper and deeper into the endless abyss instead of making a better effort to pull myself out, by getting out into the world. This presents a dilemma, because tearing away from the isolation gets more challenging the longer I’m in it and what is considering healthy gets lost. Yet, can I transform my way of life to be less of a hermit, or is that who I am meant to be?

I’m taking the time to get myself out at least one day a week and then to work on my writing. Hopefully, over time, I can stretch that to more days until I can try and break the cycle. I’m not sure if this will be the solution, but it’s the only idea I have right now. Usually I wait for inspiration to turn up when it comes to writing, but I’m aware it helps to be disciplined if there’s ever a chance of developing it further, so using that as the reason to get outside is a worthy incentive. However, sometimes it requires breaking through a thick wall to get to the point of doing anything creative. Today I find myself dragging the words out of me, but I continue to type anyway.

Using the turmoil and the dismay that we contain within ourselves can be a useful catalyst for creativity, yet how far can that really take us? Does it depend on the drive behind that, or for as long as it beats at us, is that good enough? It’ll be a another test to see if that can keep propelling me forward. Time will tell if it’s successful or not.

 

A Bleeding Heart with Three Names

I look into myself and see nothing but the cool, dark space of a wound that will never heal. What once was full of hope, full of certainty for a future with the only person that mattered, is now a deep, gloomy well with no visible way to see down with the naked eye. The rope down is slippery and wet, but my hands are coarse with the scars that were inflicting by holding on to you. I slowly descend into the abyss of the passage way, which never seems to end. The chill increases with bitterness the further down I go, so that I can’t feel anything through my body. There was warmth here once, but that was long ago.

 

Finally, my feet touch the ground, sluggish and thick with the bloody, shallow water. The rope breaks away into pieces that evaporate before they touch the bottom. This is all there is now. There is only one way forward. I press a hand against the well wall, to feel it’s ragged surface, stroking along to get familiar with this old situation. Then, after a while, I find a small hole just large enough for a finger. I poke a finger inside, only to have a small piece of the wall break away. This is only temporary, but it lasts forever in my mind. I continue to bring the wall down around me, chip by chip, increasing the size of the hole, until I reveal a smooth surface, big enough for me to press my whole body against. The wall gives way and slides open like a door.

 

As soon as the passage way opens, beaming white light pours through blinding me for a moment. When my vision returns, I can see that the smooth door is as white as bone, with a round room ahead. I enter and step forward a few paces, as the door closes behind me. There is an altar in the center of the ornate room, which has pillars right around, with a ceiling bursting with pure white light. On the altar, there is my bloody beating heart, pierced with three black, thick needles. At the top of the needles there are three spheres, filled with three different objects. The first is a ball of green light, that pulsates with different shades. The second is a small, unborn fetus, swimming a pool of murky pink fluid. The third is a delicate, fine key in a block of gold, translucent glass.

 

I pull out the needle with the ball of green light and the heart starts to beat at a slow, pulsing rate. I smash the head of the needle against the altar and the ball of green light floats up into the ceiling and the pure white light changes to cycling shades of green. A doorway to the left of me opens, revealing a passage way to a new area. I walk towards it.

 

The room ahead of me is gray and dusky, with a wall of clear, thick glass just in front of me, with two holes carved into to place my hands through. On the other side of the holes behind the sheet of glass, there is a glass sphere floating in the air, with pure white light beaming inside of it. On the far wall behind the glass, there is three indentations in a line equally spaced next to each other, big enough for the sphere to fit into each. I place my hands through the holes in the glass and hold on to the sphere, then with a little bit of effort I throw the sphere at the first indentation. The sphere smashes apart and the light is absorbed into the indentation and it lights up with a pale red light. Out of thin air, another sphere appears with the same white light, ready to be thrown at the next indentation. I hold onto it and do the same again, throwing it at the wall. This time the indentation lights up amber. Then, once again, the sphere appears and after the same action the indentation lights up green, but after this the word ‘RUN’ lights up at the top of the wall. I freeze in place, despite knowing what to do, as the holes in the glass suddenly fill up, closing tight, severing my hands in the process. I fall down on my knees, watching the blood pour from my limbs onto the floor and I feel like I’m going to pass out. Then the room flickers into darkness. Suddenly, I can feel my hands attached to my arms again and I bring them up to cover my face. Then, the room glows with a bright, white light and I bring my hands back to my knees. Looking down on the floor where the blood used to be is now a bronze coin, with the picture of a green orb in the center. I pick it up then leave the room. Back in the ornate room, the door from whence I came seals shut.

 

I walk up to the altar and decide to remove the middle needle. I smash the sphere at the end of the needle on the altar and the fluid pours out, then the fetus contained within drops to the ground and starts to melt into the floor. The ceiling pulsates with shades of pink light and a doorway opens in the right hand side wall, leading to another area and I walk over to enter.

 

Inside this new place is a space around walls made up of fleshy muscles. The ground is soft with the same fleshy muscles, but strong under my feet. Ahead is three passage ways with which I can go through. My only instinct is to go through the one on the far left, so I walk onward and enter into it. As I walk down the passage way, I suddenly feel myself pulled deeper inside, absorbed into the darkness. I black out. Then, when I awake, I am a small toddler again, sitting in an ordinary living room. There are three people, at least what I can call people, covered in blood and grime, faceless and hairless. They are holding sledgehammers in their hands, which have their fingers sewn together. They turn my way, then pick up the heavy sledgehammer’s in their hands and then start to destroy the room around me. All I do is hear the crumbling of the plaster, the cracking of the stone and the sound of the blows, frozen in place not knowing what to do. When the room is completely destroyed around me, the people turn to me and then lift up the sledgehammer’s in their hands and slam them down on me. Everything goes black. Then, slowly but surely, I wake up back in the original room with the fleshy walls. The passage way ahead to my left is closed and the remaining two passage ways are open. I walk down the entrance to the middle passage way and I get sucked in again.

 

I am a young boy, in a simple classroom sitting at a small, classroom table in the center of the room. Around me are similar young children, but like the people in the previous living room, they are faceless, but this time covered in beige, paper outfits. There is a teacher figure at the front of the classroom, the same as the other people, faceless and wearing a paper outfit. The figure reaches out with a cane in hand, pointing to the chalk board on the wall. Written on it is the sentence ‘Punish them for the crimes against you. Three knives. You choose.’ I look down at my table and see three especially sharp blades lying there neatly in a line. There is a indescribable noise coming from the rest of my fellow students. I pick up a blade and get up and walk up behind the student in front of me. I hold the pupils head with my one hand and thrust the blade into their chest with the other. The pupil shrieks and then slowly crumbles into ash. I do the same with the other two blades, with pupils at the back left and right of the room. When I’m done, I sit back at my table, resting my arms on it. Suddenly, the table grows and wraps around my arms, securing them in place so I cannot move. The teacher walks towards me with the cane and lifts it to strike me across the face. Everything goes black. I appear back at the first fleshy room once again.

 

All that’s left now is the final passage way, so I make my way down it to be sucked in. I come to, sitting around a large, burning camp fire. I am a teenage boy and there are my fellow peers sat around the fire with me, faceless and covered in black slime. The boy opposite me is holding a bottle in his hand, which is cycling in technicolour light. The boy passes the bottle to the next person, a girl, and then the girl passes it on to the next boy, until it finally reaches me. I look into the bottle and see a clear solution, but I have doubts that it’s just ordinary water. My peers motion me to drink out of the strange bottle. I bring the bottle to my lips and take a mouthful of the liquid, which to my surprise tastes of nothing. I take another mouthful and then pass on the bottle to the next person. I stare into the fire, then after a while I start to see visions against the flames. I am there witnessing the memories of my life, from when I was a newborn, to where I am as an adult, back in the fleshy room. I see the gentle, playful and happy moments where I am embraced by my loved ones. I see the harsh reality of making mistakes with the people that never served my best interest. I see all the moments in the world around me, with the maelstrom of emotions from the different scenarios I found myself in, in the places where I believed I belong. Maybe I did belong, for a time. After the story of my life finishes unfolding, with each blissful, antagonising and ambivalent scene, I come back to my senses to see that everyone is gone. Then, before I can say anything, the fire roars loud and blazes even higher, as it then starts to consume me. I smell the nasty odour of my flesh burning as I writhe in agony, before I fall to the ground blacking out. I am then sent back to the fleshy room.

 

All the entrances are sealed up now and I stand there, perplexed, not really knowing what to do. Then, just as I think about leaving the room, a silver coin drops from the ceiling and hits the floor in the middle of the room. I walk over and pick it up, noticing that it has the picture of a baby in the middle. I return to the ornate room once again.

 

Back in the room, I walk up to the altar to remove the final needle. As I do, the heart beats faster still, but then as it seems it can’t get any quicker, it finally pops internally and then the pulsating heart is dead still, beating no more. I take the needle and smash the sphere at the end against the altar, watching the golden glass hit the floor and shatter, revealing the delicate key. The ceiling turns bright will golden shades, then suddenly starts to freeze over and show only a single dim golden light. I don’t want to be here anymore. The wall in the center of the room peels away to reveal another door, this time different from the others. I walk up to its surface and see that there are two slots and a keyhole across the middle of the door. I take the coins that I have on me, along with the key, and then look again at the door. I put the bronze coin in the left slot. Then, I put the silver coin in the second slot. Finally, I insert the key into the keyhole and turn it, as the door starts to rumble and turn out into an opening, which feels inviting, with daylight shining in. I walk forward and then feel the essence of a warm, gentle embrace.

 

I catch my attention again. My hands are on a decorative storage box on a table in front of me. It is open and I can see the photographs of the time I spent with you. I see radiant smiles and funny faces. I see the memories of what it was like when you were still alive. I close the storage box and then look around me in the home that we shared together. Where once I felt grief and sadness, I now feel more complete again knowing that you were a special part of my life and always will be. I look outside the living room window and I see that it’s beaming with sunshine outside. It’s the fresh start of a spring day and I feel ready to leave this place and venture out once again. I grab my coat that’s draped over one of the chairs and then turn to the front door. I pull on the handle, then as I turn the door open I stop for a moment to look back, wondering what awaits me in the future. What new memories will I make here? Will I ever find someone like you again? Then, the moment passes and I step out into the light, ready for the adventure into the unknown. I’m ready to feel my heart beat again. I’m ready to live a life without you.

 

How to Live When you Don’t Want to Anymore

Last night and through to this morning I found myself suicidal once again. My best friend who means the world to me decided that she no longer wanted me in her life. I know this is not her fault, that I was too attached, that I leaned on her too much, but this doesn’t make the reality of this extreme turmoil any easier to bear….so what can I do in this situation?

I can either dwell on the thoughts and the urge to commit suicide, or for a while longer I can say “not today”. No matter how excruciating life may be and how much death feels like an escape, the real escape is to keep going until I’m brave enough to attempt to live again. Death is final, life is not. Life is full of wonderful possibilities, for those who have the time to heal.

I say this now, only half convincing myself, but no matter how much or how little I believe, it is enough. Enough to say “You know what? I can kill myself at any point, but what can I do now before it gets to that?”. Every passing moment is an opportunity to make as big a difference to help life be that little bit easier. There’s so much suffering in the world, but I don’t have to add to it. If I caused my friend that much suffering, I don’t have to add to that and I can work on being the person I need to be.

Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, I only want to wither away inside my bed. That is ok for a time, until I can move forward, until I can come up for air again. What matters is not giving up. Not giving up on what my friend and other loved ones have given me. The people who have shown me the best of what there is to offer In this world, deserve the justice in their actions by me continuing to live.

So, if you ever read this my friend, I will continue to persevere because of what you have shown me and I am so sorry for the pain I must have put you through.

I hope I can remain strong, as to live by these words, instead of merely say them.

The Journey of Letting Go

I thought I’d continue the theme of relationships in this post, albeit on a more personal level. Sometimes it can escape us to be mindful of where we once were to how we are now in our road to recovery and to the place of thriving.

Given the themes of abandonment and rejection that I’ve had meshed into me since my experiences as a young child, romantic relationships have always been the most challenging for me, but also the most sought out. I remember a time where I was consumed by the thought of having to always be alone and longing for a loving connection above all else. When I finally did make that connection, although being purely over the internet, it came with ecstacy and then the brief encounter led to me becoming manic and eventually psychotic when things came to an end.

With my first relationship with someone in person, I could see how easily I would become attached and become heavily dependent on the them. This, of course, set me up for failure when that also came to an end after a brief time. I went to a very dark and uncontrollable place, like I was never going to heal from the wound and all was crumbling down around me, with no escape from the torture. This led to me having suicidal thoughts and I was encouraged to go on antidepressants by my now ex-girlfriend, who still looked to help me. Upon starting this antidepressant, I almost immediately became even more depressed and ended up taking an overdose of the medication. I reached out and was taken to hospital, left in a dark room with the sound of my high heart rate as the only thought. This extreme reaction would later come with other relationships.

After a relationship that lasted the course of about two years, I found myself in the worst place I’d ever been to. I distinctly remember being in a psychiatric hospital, powerless in my bed, crying out and screaming like an infant at the thought of all the memories to do with that relationship. It went from being my greatest joy to my greatest nightmare. This was when I had a real serious go at suicide and took a substantial amount of medication to overdose again. I ended up in a medicated coma for about 5 days, waking up to the realisation of my actions. It was this which would be my greatest lesson. Sometime after I started therapy, which lasted over a period of 8 months. Through that painful process, I broke free from being tortured by my thoughts and came out of deep depression.

Coming to the present, I’ve recently been in another romantic relationship which has come to an end. Where once I would lose my mind, become psychotic or out of control with severe depression, comes the natural pains that come with the loss. While my triggers of abandonment and rejection are hit, I’m now able to keep it together. I still rely on the person to be in my life, but only because I value the friendship so much, as opposed to clinging on for dear life in case I become completely destroyed. I’ve grown enough and done my work to be safe now. That isn’t to say I’ve fully healed. I still have lingering issues on a more even playing field. However, coming through all this, with the cycle of infatiation, to love, to heartache and ultimate demise, to become stable in myself, shows how much I’ve grown and learned to handle my fears with more ease. The more we test ourselves, invite people into the most intimate part of ourselves, the greater the chance to learn and mature, until we become the person who we’re meant to be. Human connection is the most potent source of personal development when our issues come from the broken human connections we’ve faced in our early lives. It takes courage to not want to hide away and block out the world, which I have spent a lot of my life doing – putting off facing what I had to in order to overcome the obstacles.

With all this, I hope that what I’ve been given by others is enough for me to value who I am enough to lead my own life independently, without the fear of never having someone or never being loved again so closely.

In all this I hope my story gives encouragement to others to keep trying, to keep letting people in to appreciate the gift they have to offer. Through bliss and through suffering we experience the most of what life has to offer. We become who we’re meant to be. That’s what is worth living for.

The Connections Between Us

Early this year I had another episode of being manic, which led to me acting bizarre around a number of people, including friends. After coming back down to reality and becoming depressed for many months, I eventually got my health back to a reasonable state and had time to reflect on my actions. It was at this point I attempted to reconnect with the people I had disturbed in some way.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mental illness, there are those who can only see you for the person who is unwell, without recognising that you are going through the motions of being mentally ill and this becomes what you are judged by. Others distance themselves even if they do understand, because they don’t want someone in their lives who disrupts their world in that way. Very few seem to accept you and stand by you….so my attempts to reconnect with those who were affected mostly ended in disappointment and rejection. I lost a community of people who I was a part of and it was that blow that affected me most. All this results in more isolation. Recovering and making new contacts presents a greater challenge, especially in such a small town.

Another thing I wanted to mention, is that around all this I entered a romantic relationship with someone. While this is wonderful and I couldn’t be happier, I do have to take into consideration my ill health and the journey of building other connections, as well as creating a life for myself, without depending too much on the relationship for support. I think this is the important factor in having a successful relationship. No matter how understanding and how much your partner is able to relate to you, being able to manage and thrive with tackling your mental health alone, is in my opinion, essential. We have to depend on ourselves to overcome our difficulties, first and foremost.

While being around people who have similar mental health issues can help and certainly bring people together, it does not guarantee the success of forming a connection. I think a number of people who have mental health issues have been hurt by people in the past and it can take a great deal of trust and confidence to open up and form a bond with someone. From my own experiences, having lost so many people over the years, getting close to others comes with the anxiety of pushing them away or disturbing them to the point of losing them. What does it take for someone to stand by you when you lose your mind? I would say it takes someone to get to know the real you beyond the illness, being able to see you for who you are at heart, after all, we are not our mental illness; it is something we have to contend with in our everyday lives.

Saying all this, I am hopeful for the future. I am hopeful with the partner I have in my life now and it encourages me to let other people in to form friendships with. It encourages me to create opportunities to band together with others and work with them. It encourages me to want to help others again, who have been where I have and know the difficulties with forming and maintaining relationships.

It’s the people in our lives that matter most and make a difference to the world we have around us. Being honest and open with who we are, where possible, will hopefully bring the people into our lives that we deserve and who deserve us in kind.

From Out of the Slumber

It finally feels like the right time to post something here again after the longest period of being lost to uncertainty, as well as many other limiting factors.

I’ve been experiencing a great deal of mild chronic depression, which has been problematic enough to restrict how I live my life, dictating what I do on a day to day basis – which is nothing much at all in the grand scheme of things. During this time I have come to question the notion of a spiritual world, choosing to sort of abandon it, albeit not completely.

Maybe it’s time to change gears on this blog once again and go in a different direction, but for now I don’t know what that direction should be. Maybe it’s the nature of this low level of consciousness I’m working with, operating in this depressive state that I only snap out of briefly once in a while, which prevents me from connecting to something more substantial and profound which I don’t get to witness in my everyday mundane life.

The thing about having a manic and psychotic experience is that when you get catapulted into a realm where anything you can imagine becomes possible and real, you’re given a unique perspective, first hand, to explore the age old questions which we can never find the final answers to and you eventually reach a clarity where you are completely connected to the totality of all that is, anchored in the moment, which then allows for the deepest insight available to you to bring about realisations that you never thought possible. Once you’ve tasted that state of reality, it becomes all the more disheartening and shattering to feel yourself fall back down to a place where the banal rules and the only thing that exists is what your basic senses can fumble to grasp.

I’ve taken it on myself to reach out for help and I’m waiting on seeing a counsellor and a Psychologist, which should be in another three months or so for the former. Hopefully during that therapeutic process I can try to elevate myself enough to feel connected more to a living world where I see a point and meaning to my existence. Until then it’s a case of being patient, tolerant and kind to myself so I can avoid crashing down any further and blocking out the world. I’ll also be seeing my Psychiatrist to discuss the efficacy of my medication.

On a more positive note, I’ve opened myself up to the idea of volunteering and sometime this year I may be in a position to contribute to making a change to how mental health services are delivered in my local area. I’m also looking to be a part of starting back up a peer support group where myself and others can see about helping one another through our daily grind of troubles. I have to hope my depressive mind allows me to undertake these endeavours successfully.

Well, that’s it for now. May you take something away from reading this if you got this far and find the light in your own life if you require it.

 

It Begins and Then…Just, Ends.

Well it’s a Saturday night and here I am in the comfort (or maybe that’s half discomfort too) of my isolation looking to ramble away again with a desire to produce something interesting for readers.

I could describe my mood as unusual and if I were to physically describe it, it would be like I want to reach deep into my body, sliding between all the grime, bones and what not to pull out something remarkable that has some kind of enigma to it. Something worth exploring to find deeper insight into the nature of simply being. It gets tiring though; there’s only so much worth you can find from your own psyche without contributing more experiences to it and finding more evolved ways to live your life.

Part of being in isolation and solitude does cause you to shut down, close up and start to lose your mind to depression and other such things, but the other side is that you find an element of spirit that is unmoved, always thriving and ready to produce anything that you would ever need – if only you can hang on to it. It’s that life force that you can rely on, no matter what situation you are in and no matter what you experience – if only you can remember that it’s there. The calm, present entity that we see as ourselves existing there constantly, even after death in this material realm if you so believe.

Yet we’re a species that always wants more. Even if we have everything we need it can never be enough, because we’re designed to evolve and move forward in some sort of direction to “better” ourselves…….and I would like to see this as what we’re all here to actually accomplish. As much as I want solid answers in my soul searching, I’m inclined to believe there is a greater living construct out there that we’re all tied to and it’s this construct or maybe it’s better to say “living entity” that will benefit from our collective worlds that we all create for ourselves. Because it is like our own universe when we delve deep enough inside to discover what is really going on. We could house our own universe to help expand the existing one, readying it for further life capable of existing due to our new contribution.

Well there’s a lot of maybes, could bes and what ifs for one post.

Coming back to what we consider reality, I’m looking for something that answers the seemingly unanswerable questions still because if all we need to do is to keep breathing to accomplish our original designed outcome, then I need to know why it was necessary in the first place. Having a life in itself is not enough to constitute a reason.

Then we come back to that unmoved spirit – that we look to hang on to and remember is there and all those rambled thoughts dissolve.

So there is that cycle of birth and rebirth as permeating the world around us.

Another ramble ends.

T=M

The Solace of Human Kindness

As frustrated as I was the other day I can say that this early morning I do value the company of people going through different but yet somehow similar struggles and the company of people coming together for a common hobby.

The beauty of what I learnt in helping run a general mental health peer support group in the past was that regardless of the unique personal journey that someone had come down, there was always something that that person could find within the journey to relate with and connect to other people who had something different to tell. There’s common themes within that struggle, whether it be depression, anxiety or “psychosis” and so on, that all come back to the essence of being human. It’s the human condition that we can all identify with and it’s that which brings us together to feel less alone and want to help one another. It’s something that I can easily forget when I feel lost in the world and setting up a peer support group again is something which I feel strongly about in these coming weeks.

In other news I’ve been given one of my older anti-psychotics to replace my new (but ancient in the history of meds) anti-psychotics due to the side effects being preferable with my older one. There’s a transition period where I have to take both, but so far I haven’t minded the side-effects. In all this I met the Psychiatrist that currently resides at my local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) for the first time and we got on well enough as far as doctors go. Part of me wants to tough it out on the medication, part of me wants to be free of it. I think if I spent more time in nature and had more holistic options to help myself I’d be better for it and get a stronger sense of spirit, which I have lacking right now.

There’s a danger to be superficial and absurd when it comes to spiritual beliefs and I’m doing my best to remain connected to something grander than myself based on my own personal lived experiences rather than relating everything to something created by man as a means to make sense of the world. What I mean is that rather than accepting something as accurate and true from a spiritual source based on age old mysticism or elaborate systems and methods of working based on nothing grounded in actual research, I want to accept something that I can see working in action and feel with my own senses, perceptions and way of being. If I record something I want it to be as genuine as possible.

Psychiatry doesn’t allow so much for the pure experience found in what they call psychosis to express itself without medication in a safe environment. There are projects such as Soteria House here in the UK, which has once been established in the US, which offers the kind of environment for people with little to no medication which is very much needed, but to have something that caters for people who wish to make sense of their experience on a spiritual level is where I feel there needs to be something established. It comes back to having a unique therapeutic working relationship with a specifically tailored kind of Psychotherapy and a team to support that.

Of course beggars can’t be choosers and here on the NHS we have to accept the only kind of sanctuary that’s available when things go awry – that of a Psychiatric hospital where medication is compulsory and forced on patients if they refuse, along with the idea of Electro-Convulsive Therapy still being used.

I can only hope to one day live in a western world where what I “suffer” from is not considered as a disease or sickness, but as a profound condition for greater learning and understanding of the human condition that should be allowed to run it’s course if the individual so chooses. Until then, being there for my fellow human on that different but similar journey is where I’ll have to be.

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