Those peering into the lives of those of us who struggle with mental health, perplexed as to why we seem to have potential to live “better” but just continue to make bad choices that impact us negatively and cause us to be of concern to their normal married with children lives, never grasp anything but bullet-pointed articles and perhaps an interview they watched on tv about bipolar or depression. One’s own family doesn’t even take the time or effort to sit round table with a doctor or therapist and together explore and learn about what mental health and my own particular diagnoses mean for me, and them.
To hear sympathetic responses: “You know, I must have depression myself for I often spontaneously burst into tears for no reason.”
Or, “I always hear you blaming everything on your illness but never taking responsibility for your behavior and what this does to us when you have these episodes that would probably go away if you stopped drinking, had never messed with drugs or got out more and made some good friends who live right and are good influences on you.”
Or, “I came off all of my medication, and it made me…it healed me. The drugs make everything worse, and doctors don’t really know what they’re doing…” You get the gist.
They have no comprehension of the huge open wound split down the middle of me that always hurts; the pain never goes away.
And, then, something happens, salt is poured into it all over it. And I am stuck in the bed or couch, doubled over, weeping and screaming in silence, screaming to any god that might hear me that I will believe every word they say if they’d just let my late father hold me or make the pain go away. Sometimes I collapse in a corner somewhere like the bathroom alone. I don’t call anyone in those moments, I am 100% stuck and would do just about anything to make the pain go away, to numb it.
But, indifference is nearly worse. Then the wine or beer overflows like a cutter who needs to touch feeling, to feel nothing whilst a magnitude of hurt, trauma, memories that dwell inside me that others just seem able to not hang onto long. In me, they haunt and taunt me like a puppet master dangling all I love on a hangman’s post on a string.
And I cry.
No one seems to get that except us sad sad souls that live in dark corners. And, so, while a few months living at an RCF, I was inspired by another resident to write this. Lest we forget all the madness, we possess.
A Story Untold Of Us Who Live In Dark Corners
Us who mingle alone in the darkest night’s bat filled corners where crooked old streetlights flicker off and on until we can see alone the all too familiar void that goes unnoticed by strangers to whom we’re always kind and to any living family that might still stick around when broken hearts are mistaken for the crinkles in our lonesome weary foreheads and red dried up eyes such so that we just laugh, and that’s when it gets all crazy, and a bit fuzzy and well just makes it kinda funny that we’re still alive after the drunken attempts and lousy lives we’ve thought we’d keep on livin for.
Us old souls treading streets in thrift store hand out tennis shoes and pants with holes and tears, looking back we sit around on the stairs smoking cheap cigarettes or one dollar cigars and ponder how old we got, and it wasn’t even supposed to turn out this way. Maybe the dope man got us goin or we ended up not in our right minds, depressed hitchhiking, stealin cars with an ounce of weed and a forty drivin’ along, and it just happened to be the nine months that we spent in jail where our friends are, makin us supposin’ that it is probably lucky we’re not livin’ like some of our dear old souls who didn’t get out or this far, and stroll the streets, homeless and accused of not doin’ right by God or people who have the character and integrity to rise up and do more with their lives.
We’re really quite remarkably smart in ways only I guess we see in each other as we take to depression and wishin’ we’d never wake up with nothin’ much anymore to live for except a cigarette and coffee, a cup or two before the food we at least keep from walkin’ and standin’ around on empty. It’s better than being broke, to get some credit from the ‘ol dope man, or from the guy that’s known us half our lives at the liquor store, a constant never ending battle between doin’ nothin,’ goin’ to sleep or getting high. If we, who walk dark corners, get those moments of temporary joy that honest folk would deny us ‘cuz they’d never even understand what it’s like to get sex at the house on the left, when we’d give our last tooth for just companionship without the hollerin’ and fightin’ that makes us further insane.
Another lousy life moment or “choice,” however one might see it, that we throw down the toilet till one day we find us pissin’ ourselves and yellin’ for nothin’ more but an age-old plea for some love some get and we didn’t or don’t even have anymore.
You really can’t put yourself in our place, the headspace that opens the door to such a sad sad heart, and the kind of loneliness one gets used to but never stops weepin’ bout alone in the middle of the night when the medicine wears off, cold or hot, one or the other but restless and tired, to end up woken at five just as we get to fallin’ into a peaceful thoughtless slumber that med time comes, and half awake we still smile kind to one another, and ask for cigarettes or a light so we can get the day goin to go as far as the day will take us. Bored wonderin’ what in the world could we do but dream of gettin’ out to another lousy life.
No, it’s not a point of view, and even if believin’, if capable, of Jesus, forgiveness, and heaven, it doesn’t change the depression, the voices, the need for monitored medication for those of us who got on Medicaid before the government and high falutin’ folks with money thought we oughta earn without knowing a thing about it.
For, us, dark corner souls old and bound by insanity know nobody earned or deserved what we got.
Everybody makes mistakes as lookin’ back, the haunting nature of failure becomes us, where there’s no lookin’ back or forward either. Nobody’s a comin’ to give us more or to make the pain go away.
Just a short, more of a stay, until it’s finally our big day and in our finest, we get a little funeral if we’re lucky or at least get a group that loves enough to put together a proper end to remember us by.
The completion of the role we’ve played in this world, the us in dark corners know only what’s a-comin’ while we laugh at the craziness and senseless meaning of it all. We in dark corners get lost for moments in time with the void that looks like a kind heartfelt smile with crinkles in our foreheads.
Ah, Sharee is cryin’ alone in her room again. Guess I’ll go to bed.