This month's challenge has been fun and well, somewhat difficult to be honest. There have been some letters that your mind seems not to want to wrap itself around, this was actually one of them. I could only come up with "light," and what in the world would I right about that? The answer came to be as I watched the movie “Frozen” with my grand daughter and listened to the words of the song “Let it go,” it hit home and my post for today was set into motion.
In the movie, the main character Anna runs away to a secluded mountain to escape the world, not to hurt anyone with her magic that she cannot control. Reading the lyrics to the song, I put them into my thoughts on what those with Mental health face each day.
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see; Be the good girl you always have to be, Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know; Well, no they know….”
This is the first line that caught my attention; I have spent years denying my illness, doing everything I can to be “normal,” to fit in and go with the flow. The truth is that only lasts for so long, and the truth appears. I did my best to be like everyone, hide the truth about my childhood, the abuse and fear, and as I got older, I did what I could to hide the mental illness that was forcing my brain into what I had no control over. It has taken 18 years since my diagnoses, to come to terms with it all and have the strength to speak out, because it is only by going public that people will know those with these illnesses do not create monsters, as the media portrays.
“It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through, No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free.”
It is my time now, the opportunities in front of me to cause a change, to speak out and be the voice for those who are unable too. I thought for a long time on how I can be the one to stand up and be the strong one, when there are so many days when I want to hide under the covers. I believed there was no way anyone was going to listen to me, a single person in the midst of my own road to healing and stability. What I saw was that in taking this opportunity, making it public I was freeing myself from my personal stigma, in turn giving myself the permission to be there for others.
“Let it go, let it go, I am one with the wind and sky, let it go, let it go, you’ll never see me cry”
“Here I stand, and here I’ll stay, let the storm rage on.”
“My power flurries through the air into the ground, My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around, And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast, I’m never going back,, The past is in the past”
I learned as a child that you do not cry, the years of abuse that my brother’s and I were subject too taught us many things, and it has taken more time than I would like to come to the place where I can say, “Let it go.” I won’t say there aren’t days when the memories creep back into my mind, and I am taken to the past but I cry in the darkness, alone never letting anyone see the pain that it can still cause me. In those moments, I go for a walk, look at the trees and sky, becoming thankful that I have the opportunities I do and think of those who have lost their battle, whether it was abuse or mental illness and know that I have survived and now can speak out.
Music is one of the many mediums I use to speak out; I write and draw as well all in an effort to both calm myself and make these illnesses relatable to others. We are the same inside; those with a mental illness are no different in how they wish to live, there are simply a few extra obstacles.
In the end, whether you have a serious illness or not, we all need to learn to “Let it go,” and be the person we want to be, no matter what anyone else says.