1. Glennon Doyle Melton (TedTalks) agrees, many people with mental illness feel deeply! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHPNMIK-fY
Some of the quotes that resonated with me:
“People think of us addicts as insensitive liars, but we don’t start out that way. We start out as extremely sensitive truth-tellers. We feel so much pain and so much love and we sense that the world does want us to feel that much and doesn’t want us to need as much comfort as we need. So, we start pretending. We try to pretend that we’re the people we’re supposed to be. We numb and we hide and we pretend and that pretending does eventually turn into a life of lies. To be fair, we thought we were supposed to lie. They tell us since we’re little, the only appropriate answer is, ‘Fine, and you?'”
This is SO SO true! Yes, that is right, so true, it requires a repeated word!
“So, in private with the food or the booze…we tell the truth. We say, ‘Actually, I’m not fine.’ Because we don’t feel safe telling the truth in the real world, we make our own little world: addiction.”
“I did not want to deal with the discomfort and messiness of being a human being.”
YES! Unfeeling, strong Mord-Sith all the way! Remember these Illyria from Angel GIFs?
“And in the mental hospital, for the first time in my life, I found myself in a world that made sense to me…and we had to learn about ancient Rome when all we really wanted to learn was how to make and keep a real friend. But in the mental hospital there was no pretending. The jig was up…Everybody was worthy just because she existed and so in there we were brave enough to take off our capes of [addiction]…In there, people wore their scars on the outside so you knew where they stood and they told the truth.”
I think this is why people tend to form endurable bonds in treatment. We tell the other patients thoughts or past events we would never reveal to our closest friends and loved ones on the outside. We are open and honest in a way we have not experienced. Furthermore, we understand where the others are coming from. We understand them on a level that non-mentally ill people cannot. We accept each other unconditionally.
2. Elyn Saks: A Tale of Mental Illness – from the inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6CILJA110Y
She had her first schizophrenic break in law school! She was involuntarily hospitalized, but she gained control and went back. It was her first year; I don’t know if it was her first or second semester. Either way, Yale law school was nice enough to give her medical leave. I’m not bitter at all! 😉 Anyway, with schizophrenia she completed law school at the top of her class and now she is a professor at the University of Southern California Gould Law School. It is a well respected law school, ranked 18th in the country!! Her story gave me hope one night when I was dealing with suicidal urges.