Hiding in the Light

I don’t want to be here.

He’s reading my paperwork, and I know what he’s thinking. I know what I have written is shocking. Even I could not believe the totality of my answers as my shaking hands filled in bubbles and provided descriptions and explanations, certain that he had never met this level of crazy. He glances at my hands twisting in my lap, the repetitive picking at my thumbnail.

He makes a note.

It has been 15 years since I had been in a psychiatrist’s office, and I had believed that I would never have to endure that again. The feeling of judgment, the unease of having my every thought put under the analytical microscope. The humiliation of sharing every compulsive thought that had plagued me for months.

I’m not even going to tell you everything.

I don’t know how it snuck up on my like this. Well, it didn’t really sneak. More like infested, infiltrated. That is how it feels when you realize that your thoughts are not quite right, your actions are not healthy. You just aren’t you anymore, and you have to stop lying to yourself.

I started lying to myself about a year ago, when I first recognized that something was changing inside of me. I have never forgotten my battle with mental illness, and I’ve always felt a sense of control in that I’ve been able to nip the episodes before they can fester, before they can explode. So when I began to feel sick again, I convinced myself it was situational. I blamed it on the stress of grading papers, my husband’s extended traveling, the long-awaited promotion at work that kept getting promised but never came to fruition.

But the day came when the lies became bigger. I began hiding certain behaviors and engaging in dangerous habits, and even as I ventured into these destructive places, I made excuses for myself. When you are alone and you isolate yourself from friends and family, it becomes easy to believe those lies.

Today, the lies are coming to the light.

I’m not myself anymore.