Amy's open letter
Dear mental health,
My dad doesn’t understand. He is the kindest soul, and I know he tries his hardest to be empathetic, but when I call him and confess that today I felt overwhelmed and had another panic attack, he simply advises me to “focus on one thing at a time.”
I can’t do that. My brain doesn’t function that way. My whole life is a sensory overload—one color after another, one sound louder than the next. When I let the windows down, I don’t feel free. I feel deaf. This up-and-down, joy-and-fear thing is exhausting. It’s an anxious merry-go-round and I’m just along for the ride.
There’s an indigo voice in my head screaming, “You can’t! You can’t!” I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy trying to shut up that voice. I imagine a world where one day, there is nothing but silence, and I am blissfully alone again. I fill my life with lavender to remind myself to lighten up. To tap into that calm, unfamiliar shade. And sometimes, sitting at the park on a still, sunny afternoon, I can find it.
But here’s the thing: if I was given the choice to let it all go, to part ways with the madness and just be “normal”? I could never take it. I’ve realized through internal healing and getting older that I need to view the world this way in order to contribute to it. I need the merry-go-round to keep carrying me through the highs and the lows. Without it, what would I write? What would I sing? What would I paint? How would I love, dance, cry, or breathe if there was no intensity behind it? The passion I feel for this circus around me stems from seeing it on every microscopic level. I was born to create, and so I cannot allow my body to make me feel like I’m dying.
Where there is pain, there is growth. I heard that one from my dad too.