On Oct 4th, Calen continued on with questions from Learning to Fall: Recording the Blessings of an Imperfect Life by Philip Simmons. This time, we are asked to go deeper:
What usually happens in your mind
when you fail to solve a problem?
I wouldn’t wish my mind on my worst enemy on a good day, so I definitely wouldn’t want to open it up to anyone when I’ve failed at anything. But since I’ve signed up to answer these questions, I will try to explain.
My mind is a twist of mazes, with rooms that lead to nowhere, sections that represent a swamp, a graveyard, a castle, and a courtyard, among a few (trust me, there are some places in there best left to the imagination). When I fail, the maze becomes a twisty-curvy set of mirrors. When I first enter my mind, I am met with myself, a reflection of that failure running for eternity. Words like shame, blame, and/or loser are tattooed upon my forehead. There is no mercy or compassion. If I manage to make it to the center of the maze, there is usually a swampy mote to greet me. If I want forgiveness, I have to cross it, usually on foot, dredging through the mire and muck. Previous versions of myself float face down, drowned from my own self-inflicted wounds. I will either drown there again, or I may make it to the other side. That’s where the graveyard, castle and courtyard are. Depending on my self-loathing, I could end up in the graveyard, or make it to the castle itself. If I do get to the castle, I am met with past abusers who laugh and jeer at me. If I seek to hide from them, I could get lost inside one of those other rooms I spoke of above. That’s usually when depression drags me into holes impossible to escape. On rare occasions, I will make it to the courtyard. Only there can I find hope and resolution and come out of my mind unscathed.
Of course, the outcome comes down to how severe the problem was and how badly I failed. The varied levels of depression will also determine how long I remain inside my mind. There is rarely a determination to accept my failure and move on. Instead, failures just get compounded and build up and up until I am forced into treatment again.Such is the life of one dealing with Mental Illness.