In my considered opinion one of the most difficult issues that mentally ill people face is getting everyone from their employers to their families to take their illness and their needs seriously without becoming afraid to have the mentally ill individual around.
I am crazy but I am also by many respects and criteria an excellent employee. Right now I feel as though I am just barely hanging on to my ability to control my emotions and keep on an even keel. The place that I need to keep to so that I can go to work and smile and do my job every day. Where I have earned satisfactory and excellent performance appraisals and been genuinely committed to the library’s mission of bringing “information and imagination” to the people of the county we serve. In my heart I know that if i do as my mom advices and “just go back to work and keep your chin up and do the damned job” I will end up cycling uncontrollably between psychotic screaming rages, very tearful desperation and despair an completely calm in control and capable of taking notes and deciding what’s going to have to happen next.
I need for the people in my life to understand that I work hard every day of my life dealing with my various mental illnesses. And when I tell you that my stress has reached a critical level, I need for the people around me to appreciate that I often know better than anyone else just what exactly is going on in my head. As I tried to explain to my mom (whom I know loves me despite my illness and honestly wants what is best for me) it is not just that I have major depression Or panic anxiety syndrome Or agoraphobia Or social phobia Or OR OR! I have major despression And panic anxiety disorder And agoraphobia And social phobia andAnd and AND AND AND! They all in their ways feed into and affect each other. Please hear me when I try desperately to tell you that I really am sick and I really do need your help, understanding and accommodation of my disability. But I’m really not at all dangerous to have around and if you make room for me, I have a lot to contribute.
Alan (has been asking serious and specific questions about local mental health facilities cuz it’s beginning to seem like they’re going to push me til I completely lose it and end up in Western State. I would so rather be allowed to stay home. I don’t know what’s going to happen and that scares the shit out of me).