Mental illness in a nutshell  

Mental illness is “a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking.”

It felt as if the sky was falling down.

I can see it so clearly now how I am manically trying to control the world through the efforts of my neurotic and ‘fix-it-all’ mind. 

I am not sure how it all started. Weather, I was born with a frail-mind, or it was my genetic inheritance or I developed it over the years? Probably all played a part. I look at my family of manic-depressives, alcoholics, chain-smokers, and neuritics and wonder how I missed the signs in me?

I am rather clever. Unfortunately, I am not clever for the world. I find it challenging to fit in and function as an adult. I am a bit like Van Gogh, except that I am not nearly as talented an artist as he was. The similarity is solely in the immaturity of our personalities, the one who never grows up. He could never take care of himself no matter how talented he was an as artist or creative. Neither can I.

How did it all came about? Well, during the past few days I have been very ill. I had high temperature and so I was left alone with my mind to observe its dark corner without any distractions.

A few years ago I did an experiment during which I wrote down every thought that occurred to me in a period of 24 hours. At that time, it was rather funny to see how busy my mind was. The conclusion I drew at that time was that my mind was hilariously frantic and that I have a great sense of humour.

Not this time,though!

I was shocked to realize how powerful and dark my mind is! ‘The Name of the Rose’ comes to mind. It is kind of ‘medievalisly’ dark! My mind only knows disaster, war, and violence and is built to protect, except that it is killing me in the process. It feels like a mix of a giant terminator robot and a Roman warrior. I am surprised that I have not noticed it before.

I noticed how ‘frantic’ my mind is. It is on constant alert, ready to defend and to trike. My mind seeks out and focuses itself on the dark, the imperfect, the wrong, the missing, the lack, the incomplete, the broken, the damaged, and the undeveloped. It is constantly ready for the worse and ready to fix it.

At the age of 7 I lost the person who I considered my main caregiver. He was my surrogate-grandpa. After his passing I was basically on my own. I had to figure out rather quickly how to stay alive in a mentally deranged family with none assigned to care for me. Luckily, life kept on providing surrogate-parents who made sure that I was OK. I am forever grateful for them.

My mind is also obsessive. As soon as something grabs its attention it becomes obsessed with it. It dissects its interest and cuts it into tiny pieces then analysis it to its core.

A couple of days ago, a colleague from work who took over my class after I had fallen ill, asked me to share a google doc with her that I created earlier for the students. As I shared the doc with her, my mind started to run havoc. In less than a minute I got convinced that she would see what a bad teacher I was and I’d better ask a colleague to mentor me to improve my teaching skills. Then, I frantically tried to find all the mistakes in the doc. In the meantime, I was convinced that she would report my inadequacy to my superiors and that I would lose my job. In a nutshell.

I could observe how manic my mid was and still I could not stop it.

My Godzilla-like mind is underpinned by a leather combo of self-doubt, lack-of-self-confidence, and self-judgement. I suppose in order to cope with with the bitterness caused by a combinations of low-self-esteem, great abilities and unmet expectations, my mind became overly critical, cynical and sarcastic. And to top it all, when my monstrous mind that lives in a war-zone and its accompanying terror, feels defeated, it wants to destroy itself and me with it.

As a teenager I was constantly suicidal. My grandma was my only source of love, so to speak, as a youngster. She loved me so very much that I could not bring myself to disappoint her by killing myself. I was a giant disappointment to her, anyway, because of my bad results in my studies. Luckily, she lived to see me graduate from Uni.

As a pre-teen and teenager, I think, I was actually afraid of what was going on inside my mind and I felt helpless in controlling it. The only way I could protect myself was to keep my mind constantly busy with something. Still today, the best way to keep my mind at bay is to keep it occupied.

The more stressful life becomes because of the raising level of anxiety, the more manic and frantic my mind becomes. The funny thing is that it is a downward spiral. The more frantic it becomes, the more activity (moving about) I need to pack in so to easy off the tension that was originally created by the overwhelming amount of things I try and do at the same time. Over the years, I managed to create a lifestyle of this manic search for release from the mental tension I am often under.

Lately, my body has tired to put a stop to my manic behaviour, but in vain. I kept on going having convinced myself that there is no grace for the wicked. So, here I am with a mind that is both brilliant and manic …

And suddenly, I became aware that my mind has just become obsessed with its own obsession!

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