The Fulfilment of Being

And, Freeze!

That’s what  she used to proclaim, suddenly, at us, in drama. Obediently, we would pause, statue-esque, awaiting her instruction. It’s a technique I use years later, running children’s parties. It engenders quiet. Still. Frozen in space is time to be.

I want to press “freeze” right now. I want to stop, to be. I can’t keep up. Emotionally, I am exhausted, and I am suicidal. Thoughts come incessantly, unbidden, unwanted, without rhyme or reason. I fight them. I cut more deeply, more often, to try and abate them. They do not stop.

Unable to contact mental health services, three appointments cancelled this week,  not seen anyone in a month, I see the GP this morning, in a foggy haze of not-quite-there. She affirms me not being real. Affirms that telling work after what happened last time they were informed, is a wise, if effortful choice.

As the GP knows, the stigma is real-as-real. I am not sure I am. I don’t feel real anymore. The theatre of productivity at work isn’t the real me. I have been told by an Elder not to cry – not to be real with God- at church. I have taken a lower-level, less time-commitment job, to permit therapy, to try to allow me to be real, to be more whole. But it looks like I will not be able to have it anyway, because my timetable will clash with its availability. I’m not sure what counts as real anymore.

IMG_2805

This is me, in Reception class, aged 4 years. The expression – the gritted teeth – is me desperately trying  to hide my frustration. I remember this photo’ being taken. How the Classroom Assistant kept me behind to sort out my coat sleeves and zip, after the others had gone off to play. How I didn’t want to be treated any differently because of my hemiplegia: how I resented any space or attention given to it – and how I let that mission of “not being disabled” and proving I could do everything just as well as you, thank you very much, rule my life, until I was 22 years-old, and broke down under its pressure. I am trying not to make this mistake with this disability.

I am trying to be real. I am trying to allow space for the mental illness I hate, so that I don’t become defined by it. I am trying to balance work with home with everything else.  I am trying to be more whole. But everything seems to be against me doing that. It all feels futile. And I can’t be me. I’ve been told not to be me.

Someone said that God is the fulfilment of being. I don’t have time to be anymore. Let alone to be fulfilled, whole, or real. If I can’t be real, what is the point in being? I am not sure where God is anymore.

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