I worry sometimes.
I worry most of the time. My latest worry? That someone will see this blog from a professional standpoint and think me unfit to work for them simply because I have OCD.
That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a mental illness. Or more than one. I have reached quite a few people by explaining my experiences thus far. My current employer seems to have no problem with my illnesses. In fact, if I ever hope to make money from writing again, I should perhaps even dabble in more self-promotion.
And yet someone’s words haunt me. Someone who told me I should take down the blog and try to erase all evidence that I am mentally ill from the Internet.
A quick search reveals my Google profile and my “Anxiety Schmanxiety” Blog at HealthyPlace. Frankly, at this point, I couldn’t escape my mental illness if I tried (and trust me, I have tried).
So should I continue to expose these fears about mental illness for what they are, essentially baseless? Or should I acknowledge the logical assumptions behind these fears, namely that discrimination against the mentally ill is real despite our attempts to destigmatize it?
I don’t know. Part of me wants to hide away like I used to, and part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and say if someone doesn’t want me, it is a problem with them and not a problem with me.
My daughter and I binge The Twilight Zone. The old-school one. In the episode “Eye of the Beholder,” the bandages wrapped around the woman’s face seemed reminiscent of the mask I used to wear to hide my scars and experiences. Her desperate fear that she wouldn’t ever be like the others and that she would be forced to live like others “of her own kind” also resonated strongly with me. Of course, the twist in the episode was that when the woman’s disfigurement was revealed, she was truly stunning, whereas the “normal” people had aberrant, pig-like faces complete with snouts.
Being normal has always been a goal for me. But when it comes down to it, what is normal? Shall I deny the sum of my experiences in the name of feigned normalcy? Or should I break forth, shear off my bandages, and allow the world to take me as I am?
I wish the answer was simple. Normal. But in fact, it scares me more to have to pretend to be something that I am not than it does to keep fighting.
So fight on, good people, fight on. And acknowledge that no matter how perfect we profess to be, there is something slightly askew about every one of us.