There’s a white Kia Rio directly in front of me and a black Lincoln SUV in the lane to my right. I am minimally aware of the palm trees that line the road; they provide temporary breaks in the sunlight streaming into the driver’s side window of my car. I can feel the sun’s rays on my cheeks and my forehead, for a moment I am concerned about crow’s feet settling into my eyes because I forgot my sunglasses. I am going the speed limit, 45mph. I am on my way to work, dutifully going through the motions of life, but my mind…my mind is spinning wildly out of control. I am passing through the intersection blindly and it occurs to me that I am expecting a glorious semi-truck to slam broadside into my vehicle taking me blissfully out of this world. I don’t want to kill myself or even die for that matter; it’s just a fleeting thought that passes.
My mind is so splintered, so fractured. Who do you confess these thoughts to? these feelings? Who would understand how you piece yourself together everyday? I am aware that with these revelations my fear is of going THERE again…. I fear THERE more than being gone. I have been THERE with it’s white walls and organization. I was no better there than I am here…nothing changed, only the scenery.
This is what it feels like to live with a broken mind. A mind that has been forced to divide itself into survivable pieces so that the act of going to work, or brushing my teeth or carrying on relationships seems normal. I am screaming and screaming and screaming tormented. Today is a bad day. My OCD and anxiety is consuming me. I imagine it starts off like beautiful raindrops kissing the bright green leaves of summer. It starts slowly, creeps in almost undetected and before I know it I am standing at the edge of Niagara Falls with water rushing all around me, threatening to thrust me forward until it swallows me whole.
And the tears I hold back. And the sobs I choke back. I allow nothing. Because I KNOW what is happening and I feel powerless to stop it so it rages beneath the surface until the noise is so deafening that I have lost my bearings and I am completely unaware of how far I have traveled or if I have obeyed traffic laws. I know I have. I always do. I am just another commuter on the way to work.
And I’ll punish myself for this indiscretion, for this emotion that has taken hold of me. I won’t eat. I will not reward my body when it succumbs to this behavior. I separate my body from my mind, my mind from my body. My path to enlightenment is dark today. I have lost my way.
This is what it feels like to live inside a broken mind.