Fear Itself

Jane Engleman

I have had an issue with my mind for 54 years. For the past five years, I have found myself in a bubble. I am living in a bubble of stability, safety, joy, and humanity. And clarity.

We can use our bubbles, whether they last one day or one week or forty years, to feel for those experiencing the daily torment of shame. rage, fear and confusion. We can hold the beauty. We can let know anyone who cares to hear it, that love exists, even if human and temporary, that life is not a cup half full. It is filled with oxygen and substance. We can write about a life that is full and vital and far more expansive than we ever imagined. This LIFE, which is all we have to work with.

They tell me that they think this bubble is temporary, that at any time I can slide back into psychosis and suicidal depression. I do not believe them. You know that you are well when you have tested it, and the ship that you have been building actually holds water through most of it and you finally see somewhere to go. When you hold your head up, some people think you are looking down your nose. That is impossible for me; I have been tied up, face down on a mat for seven hours with my butt hanging out. But I do often find myself holding up my head. I am that happy. I have now been well for five years. I believe that quality health care works.

However, I realize that I am an experiment. They may be right. We will have to see what happens in the few years. And if night comes again, if I am locked in, I know that you will reach in through the bars to hold my hand, as I am holding yours today.

#mentalhealth #bipolar #peeradvocacy #peersupport #peerspecialist

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