A snapshot of Mental Illness

So What Do YOU Do?

I dread this question whether I am catching up with my 92-year-old grandpa or getting re-acquainted with an old friend. The niceties are out of the way. It is not meant with malice, accompanied instead with an inquisitive nature, a hope to find a way to categorize you with everyone else. Problem is I’m not everyone else, I haven’t been for a while now. I am afraid to answer honestly because I no longer have a career. I don’t work as a teacher and I could count the days I have tried to work in the last twelve months in an office setting. I am not a housewife or a mother. (I heard there are some requirements including a home, children and sometimes a spouse) So, friend this is what I do everyday:

  • I lay in bed and I can’t get up. Some days I just can’t get up. If there was a job that required horizontal running I would be set.
  • I fight with disability. I fill out paperwork, go to evaluations and wait to hear if my disability is enough for me to be compensated by the state.
  • I cry at night. Recovery is hard and some days I am just not good at it and I want to give up. It takes a while. The therapist tells you that it will take a while, but they don’t explain that awhile is more than a few seasons of the Bachelor.


  • I do nothing. Some days I do nothing. My mind is blank and I cannot think. I see the tv on and I hear people talking and I don’t participate. I do nothing.
  • I hope that things will change. I hope that I will work again someday. I hope that the coping skills will become second nature. I hope to grow into a parental figure to my mental illness. Someone it can come to when it has a bad day. The person who has all the answers and is the shoulder for it to lean on.

Grandpa, old friend, sister or chatty guy in the waiting room that is what I do.