People wonder why I isolate myself by moving to remote locations with minimal human contact. They worry it will only compound my psychosis and depression by causing further disconnect to everyday life. Where social outings, meeting new people, sharing moments, and being an interactive human being provides my loved ones with a healthy source of self-awareness and distraction, I exempt myself from the hive, causing them to worry that such a vacancy in both time and space will only fill itself with more flashbacks, loneliness, and the shadows of being damaged. From the outside, my life seems disparaging and sad.
The fact is that my life isn’t anything like that; I’m not the little kid on the sideline waiting to jump into the game and finally get to play. I’ve played my hand at many, many games and have risked more than those who care to comment when it comes to finding where I belong (for example). I’ve given myself the distinct permission to live, and continue to do so whole-heartedly. I’ve sought, found, stumbled upon, and narrowly escaped more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences for some, yet there is nothing in the human world that has yet to cease my mind from being its broken self. Only when I am removed, dwelling in the silence and stillness that is out of sight, out of mind, do I feel comfortable within my own skin.
If one took stock of the world I choose to be a part of, they would realize it is far from being secluded. In nature, I have found countless friends and companions who allow me to be my clumsy, deformed self without any reservation or judgment. I can stomp down the road in a raging hate and the trees are still there to accompany my walk. I can thrash and scream into the ocean and it doesn’t relent from holding a calm, soothing embrace. The wind has yet to pull its hand back from caressing the scars on my arms while my flashbacks continue to fail in coercing the birds to abandon them. The moon does not turn its face away from the bloody late-night battles, and animals pay very little attention to an unraveling mind. In nature, so long as you are non-threatening, you are allowed to stumble around, get some bumps and bruises, stutter, make a mess of things, and it will still show up to say hi. I have finally found a place where broken hearts are irrelevant, and thus, always welcomed.
Sometimes – I must admit – my body and mind feel like a barrier that is keeping me from becoming a sincere part of it all. As a human, I still feel like an outsider who is fortunate enough to to be tolerated but only as a guest. Death would alleviate this disconnection by allowing me to return as an elemental member of nature once again. I have all but given up on the notion of finding a home among people due to my mental illness. I don’t want to wander from house to house as a stray, scalded dog any more. I want to go home, curl up on the warm floor, and feel as though I belong to something again.
Don’t worry, I’ll still stick around in the land of the living for a while – just don’t expect me to show up very often.