A few things on mental illness from Jenny Lawson's book Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things that I think everyone should read. Or at least anyone that has to live with me or anyone like me...
"There's something about depression that allows you (or sometimes forces you) to explore depths of emotion that most 'normal' people could never conceive of. Imagine having a disease so overwhelming that your mind causes you to want to murder yourself. Imagine having a malignant disorder that no one understands. Imagine having a dangerous affliction that even you can't control or suppress."
"Sometimes being crazy is a demon. And sometimes the demon is me. And I visit quiet sidewalks and loud parties and dark movies, and a small demon looks out at the world with me.
Sometimes it sleeps. Sometimes it plays. Sometimes it laughs with me. Sometimes it tries to kill me. But it's always with me.
I suppose we're all possessed in some way. Some of us with dependence on pills or wine. Others through sex or gambling. Some of us through self-destruction or anger or fear. And some of us just carry around our tiny demon as he wreaks havoc in our mind, tearing open old dusty trunks of bad memories and leaving the remnants spread everywhere. Wearing the skins of people we've hurt. Wearing the skins of people we've loved. And sometimes, when it's worst, wearing our skins. These times are the hardest. When you can see yourself confined to your bed because you have no strength or will to leave. When you find yourself yelling at someone you love because they want to help but can't. When you wake up in a gutter after trying to drink or smoke or dance away the ache - or the lack thereof. Those times when you are more demon than you are you.
I don't always believe in God. But I believe in demons.
My psychiatrist always says, 'But if you believe there are demons, then it follows that there could be a God. It's like...believing in dwarves but not in Cyclopses."
I consider pointing out that I've met several dwarves in my life and almost no Cyclopes, but I get what she's saying. There can't be dark without light. There can't be a devil without the God who created him. There can't be good without bad.
And there can't be me without my demon.
I think I'm okay with that.
Or maybe it's my demon that is.
It's hard to tell."