Remember the old Life Alert commercial from 1987? “Help! I’m falling and I can’t get up!” Do they make that kind of commercial for us mental health sufferers? Last time I checked, no. Commercials that I see now are advertisements for anti-depressants and the countless side effects that come along with it. Have you seen those? Some commercials say: Side effects can include worsening depression, weight gain, suicidal thoughts, dry mouth and etc.
But what about a commercial that speaks directly to all of us sufferers. What would the commercial look like? Obviously, it would be more like of a PSA than anything. My life and daily battle isn’t like a 30 second commercial. It would be one of the scariest movies known to man. It would probably put Linda Blair’s movie to shame.
Like the caption above, my mental health has severely limited me in terms of the kind of person that I want to be. Honestly, I could’ve been a professional musician or work in the entertainment industry. I was the quite the musical prodigy growing up. I had a keyboard and I played several instruments. I did a lot of plays in school, more choir and band during high school years. But I really wanted to be a professional musician. Why aren’t I? Because a lovely breakdown in 2005 destroyed my chances of pursuing this dream. Not that I don’t love my job as a manager, I don’t regret going into the business world. However, I really miss playing. I haven’t picked up an instrument in years. I mean years. Probably not since 2004 or 2005. Long time ago!
When you live with mental illness, this changes everything. My depression is so debilitating that getting out of bed and going to work is the courageous thing that I’ve done. Actually, becoming a professional musician is harder especially because I have no motivation to be one. When I’m not working, I just want to be alone and just sleep. Doing nothing, but sit in the house away from the outside world. Getting out and being social is something that I can’t do because of my mental health. I’m not afraid, I just don’t have the motivation to do so. Some may call this anti-social behavior and really, it’s not that. Experience a little mental illness and then see my point of view. Do I feel like I have wasted too much over the last 13 years? Oh yes. But is it my fault? No. It’s called surviving, not living.
Living in darkness isn’t living. I wake up everyday try to survive. I take it one day at a time. It kills me that I want to change, but I can’t. It’s like you’re stuck in reverse and you want to go forward. Life doesn’t offer any refunds or do overs. Wouldn’t it be nice if it did? Everyday I have to rewire my brain like an electrician. I force myself out of bed and start the day. But what I really would like to do is get back to do something that I’ve always loved: music. I don’t know if I should start browsing for instruments or take music classes at a local college for fun. This one of many things on my cluttered brain. I think it would be cool and might change my perspective if I considered doing this. I need my lifesaver back. Staying busy would keep my mind off a lot of things. It would help me focus more on projects than shoving my face with food or sleeping too much in bed. It would also help get me outside and be more active.
I said it before and I will say it again: My life would probably be different if I didn’t have mental illness. Who knows, you could’ve seen me in concert or in theater maybe even on Broadway or Hollywood. However, I’m not. Does it mean that I still can’t achieve my dream even though it’s an extreme longshot? No, I just have to work harder and harder. Easier said than done, right? Oh yes. My mom would rather being working than being stuck at home. She’s disabled so she can’t work. She also has schizophrenia and major depression, so that limits what you can and can’t do.