Life With Mental Illness: If Only I Knew What I Need


I turn the music up. I turn it down. Turn it off. Turn it on. Change the station.

Maybe I should focus on a task. So I set out to clean the house. I don’t know where to start. I roam around armed with cleanser and a towel.

Eventually, I just sit on the couch and stare out the window. I don’t know if I am actually looking at anything. My gaze is steady, but nothing registers.

Perhaps, I should take a shower. Perhaps, I should take a nap. I should exercise, but I do none of these things. I have no energy. No desire.

I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what I need. My husband makes a suggestion, but I cannot hear him. I see his lips move. His eyes impassioned. His words fall short. They don’t reach me. I miss his message. I’ve gone inward. I can only seem to hear the echo of the voice in my head, which is stunningly mean and decisive. Yet, it also makes perfect sense.

I put on my trusted headphones to drown out the barrage in my mind. Meditation? Classical? Nature? I can’t make the simplest of decisions right now. I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what I need. Am I in a void? An abyss?

Time is standing still. The lovely purple sage bush out my window is awash in the fog. The minutes creep by. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It’s only 3 o’clock? How in the hell can it be 3 o’clock!

If only I knew how I felt. What I need. Maybe you could help me through this invisible pain.

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