Crazy, Sick or Sane?

“Some people will tell me I’m crazy, and I’ll tell them thats the only thing that keeps me sane.”
Matt Nguyen

It’s a funny quote, but for the mentally ill, the hardest thing about being crazy is trying to pretend you’re not all the time. Pretending there is nothing wrong. First of all, crazy is a misnomer. It’s an illness that you have, a disorder. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Something is going very wrong in your body and it’s affecting the way you think and feel, sleep, eat and relate to the world around you.

I say mental illness. I didn’t used to like that term. Bipolar disorder sounded friendlier. It’s not friendly. It’s a real enemy inside. It’s a part of you. I know it is, but I don’t want it to define me. I want to define myself. I want to be myself. So this is just something I fight. I fight to keep it from taking me over, like a bad cold, cough or other illness.

I fight it with an arsenal of things. A team of professionals who help me: a psychiatric nurse and doctor, therapist at times, neurologist, and my internal medicine genius lady. I fight it by always, always taking my meds. I keep my bases covered. I fight it with the love of my husband for me and mine for him. I fight it with my faith in God. I fight it with my love of life and for my dear daughter, my big family, wonderful friends.

I fight it by caring for myself and not pushing it, with full days of rest if I do. I fight it by stopping and taking time for me and shutting down all activity. And sometimes when you’ve done all you can do to fight you must just rest and put down your weapons and trust all will be well and relax. And sleep. So I do.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures

in the doctor’s book.” ~Irish Proverb

Copyright by: Libby Baker Sweiger

First published in Minnesota’s Regional Blog “The Howie Blog” on May 11th, 2012 http://www.howiehanson.com/?p=74497

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