I am tired this week. I’ve been sleeping enough, eating properly, taking my medication and resting. But my brain is fatigued. This mental illness marathon has got me feeling depleted and longing for a brain that isn’t mine.

I find myself getting lost in a daydream, one where I am unfazed and malleable to dramatic and positive change. In the dream I am energized. My brain isn’t surrounded by fog. My childhood trauma, adult heartbreak and general inability are all gone. I have strength and feel safe and secure. I am happy. I have purpose. The idea of suicide would be foreign and not something I’ve felt many times. 

Through intensive therapy, and radically changing some of my behavioural patterns, I’ve been able to teach myself to love being alone. I’ve mastered what it is to survive loneliness and loss. But I have yet to learn how to tolerate my feelings of chronic burnout and emptiness. I am trying to find meaning in a life that feels as though it’s already been tainted by so much. Does it get better? Probably not. But I can get better at tolerating the intolerable. I’ll keep getting stronger and slow down but never stop. I’m learning about who to have relationships with and who to move on from. 

Letting go of the idea that everyone needs to live by the same “life rules” has been productive for me. I’ve accepted that I have a ton of internalized “ableism” to work though. The ways in which adults are “supposed” to do things largely don’t work for me and that is okay. I’m learning how to be gentle with myself around things like work, productivity and communication styles.

I think my parents’ attempts at trying to normalize me instead of allowing me to do things in a different way stunted my emotional growth. For a long time I felt as though once I got my mental health in order I could begin a normal life, but now I realize that isn’t a real thing. Even if it were, I don’t want it. My brain feels very broken at times but I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned that most folks never will.

Jesse Rae West takes us on her journey of healing through her Borderline Personality Disorder. See more of her posts here.