The Moments of Perfect Peace in Mental Illness

I stood in the rain today. I saw the storm brewing and got inside just in time to keep my book from getting wet. When I went to close the door, it occurred to me that it has been such a hot summer, and the rain would feel good.

So I walked outside in my clothes and stood. I watched the water form into beads on my skin and then slide off onto the wooden porch. I felt the cold of the droplets as they hit me, drenching my hair and clothes. Then, I just laughed. Really laughed. With no one watching or expecting, I laughed.

There have been few moments in my life when I have felt true freedom, when my mind has calmed enough for me to be at perfect peace. Yet, in the midst of the thunder and lightning I found it. Quiet. Solitude. Joy.

I laughed at the fact that I was standing alone in the rain. I laughed that I was soaking wet. I laughed at the chill bumps forming on my skin. I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, at the fact that someone observing me might think there was something wrong with me. I laughed even more that I didn’t care.

Moments like this are rare for people with mental illness. My mind never stops. I don’t rest like others do. Instead, I anticipate, analyze and plan. I work hard to ensure those around me don’t see the inner turmoil and that I act and react the way society feels is “normal.” It’s exhausting, keeping it all together. Peace seems like an illusion, but when you do find it, and you will find it, the joy it brings is inescapable.

So for those of you who feel like the weight of the world is crashing in on you, keep waiting. Joy comes in unexpected places. Remember, sometimes the only place to find perfect peace is in the middle of a storm.

Image via Thinkstock.

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