My brain is sick.
I hate to admit that.
It’s not physical. You can’t hear me falling apart. You can’t see the lack of chemicals. There is no evidence of the life I live aside from the stories I tell and the art I create. There is no way to know I’m telling the truth. You may not believe me because I function at a rate that is normal for everyone else. I write papers, I go to work, I show up in everyday life. I’m functioning.
But my brain is still sick.
My thoughts are like vomit. I desperately try to expel them from my body but yet, in this case, it never works. I plead with God, with anyone, with myself.
“Take away from me these demons which I can not explain. Take this dust that encapsulates who I am and turn it into wildflowers that overrun the earth. Remove my broken corpse and replace it with the freedom of healthy flesh.
I’m drowning in darkness and no one else can see it.”
I will cry out until my throat bleeds. I will scream until my voice breaks. Yet you still will never see the depression inside me. You might not believe me because it’s not the typical image of illness. Common, yes, but not typical.
Hope is obsolete. Support is there but it’s hidden in the corners of my mind. I am sick.
I need medicine.
I need therapy.
But I also need you.
I need you to understand that this is real. This is scary. This is debilitating. I need you to hold my hand in the middle of a church service while my heart races as a result of seeing someone who brings back horrible memories. I need you to make me tea and sit beside me in silence while I weep and blow my nose and look disgusting. I need you to offer your time and presence even though I will try to deny it out of fear of burdening you. I need you to tell me spontaneously that I have value and that I am loved even if you think you’ve said it enough and even if I fight back. I need you to love me while I am unable to love myself.
I need you.
My brain is sick.
I am not able to do it on my own anymore.
The medicine and therapy may help but so can you.