Locked Doors

Posted by garyD @gary1316, Aug 19, 2021

Can you imagine a doorway that leads you out to a beautiful garden full of the most beautiful flowers that you have ever seen? In addition there are a lot of the most warm and caring people gathered around the grill with something that smells really good cooking. The birds are singing as only they can as they flit from branch to branch in a truly glorious tree. The sun is shining bright and warms the backs of everyone as a nice cool breeze engulfs them.

Step back and find that the door is locked and you can not get out…ever. This is what mental illness is. It robs you of everything that would normally bring someone happiness and it doesn't care about any of the carnage it leaves behind because you are the one that has to deal with it.

Yet, you do your best to keep moving forward but your best is judged by others that are free of mental illnesses and sometimes it feels like there are several different sets of judgments, expectations and consequences being thrust upon you and all from others that do not suffer from mental illnesses.

First we have a person that is totally uninformed and unaware of mental illness. They see and hear the things that you do and deem you as an undesirable person and they distance themselves as far away from you as possible.

Next we have the person that is aware of your mental illness however they don't really understand it. In a caring way they tell you things like pull yourself up by your boot straps or it's all in your head and you can overcome it. These people will spend a little time with you but nowhere enough to form any kind of a real or lasting relationship.

Next we have the person that truly loves and cares about you. They have taken the time to study, research and educate themselves with regards to mental illness and not only how it affects you but also how it affects them and their own mental health. Because of the love that they have for you they remain in your life. Unfortunately, simply because of their proximity to you they are very likely to have their hearts hurt. Do you have any idea at all what it feels like to hurt the heart of someone that you love….a second time…. and again? It hurts to do that…. a lot. It's a pain that is almost unbearable.

The last person would be your mental health professional. They have seen and heard it all throughout their years of practice. Some are better than others although there are far too many that push pills as the answer to all of your problems.

So this brings us full circle and where are we? We're still standing at the same locked door unable pass and and experience the beauty that the lucky ones can see and feel.

Which way do you turn when each direction takes you to the same destination?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Mental Health group.

@garyd, you paint a very clear picture with your words, describing mental illness and the effect of different people's responses. I'd like to bring fellow members like @marjou @jimhd @parus @engelee @fiesty76 @guener and others into this thoughtful discussion.

Using your eloquent metaphor, Gary, have their been moments when you were able to pass through the door into the beautiful garden? What helped you find the key, if even only temporarily?

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@colleenyoung

@garyd, you paint a very clear picture with your words, describing mental illness and the effect of different people's responses. I'd like to bring fellow members like @marjou @jimhd @parus @engelee @fiesty76 @guener and others into this thoughtful discussion.

Using your eloquent metaphor, Gary, have their been moments when you were able to pass through the door into the beautiful garden? What helped you find the key, if even only temporarily?

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I’m not sure that anything I have to say will help another person with a mental illness. That being said, what I can do is provide understanding.

With regards to being able to walk through the door….not for many years however every once in a while I have been able to open the curtain on the door for a brief glance outside.

Yes, please feel free to invite anyone that you choose. Thank you very much….Gary

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This is “engelee” . I am a psychotherapist, psychopharmacollogist and a nurse with 33 year career. I read thoroughly what you wrote;and I do have some comments and questions for you.
First, the “door” isn’t locked, it only FEELS locked. Additionally why are you allowing your best efforts to be judged by “others”. If you think you tried hard, evaluate what didn’t work and make adjustments or try something else that YOU think would be helpful. I didn’t say “best” . Perhaps that points to another area to investigate; what are your expectations of yourself.
I hope you have a therapist and if you don’t think it’s a good fit go and find somebody else. You seem to rely on others judgement of you and then feel like your failing.
Your wife is with you out of her own choice. You are looking inward an awful lot—-start looking out and HELP other people—maybe your wife. You sound depressed with a belief that nothing and nobody helps. How open are you? Or is it easier to just say nothing works. Doors swing open both ways. Get moving, get exercising, get on the right antidepressant and give it time to work. Stop looking at what you don’t have and assess what you do have.

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@engelee

This is “engelee” . I am a psychotherapist, psychopharmacollogist and a nurse with 33 year career. I read thoroughly what you wrote;and I do have some comments and questions for you.
First, the “door” isn’t locked, it only FEELS locked. Additionally why are you allowing your best efforts to be judged by “others”. If you think you tried hard, evaluate what didn’t work and make adjustments or try something else that YOU think would be helpful. I didn’t say “best” . Perhaps that points to another area to investigate; what are your expectations of yourself.
I hope you have a therapist and if you don’t think it’s a good fit go and find somebody else. You seem to rely on others judgement of you and then feel like your failing.
Your wife is with you out of her own choice. You are looking inward an awful lot—-start looking out and HELP other people—maybe your wife. You sound depressed with a belief that nothing and nobody helps. How open are you? Or is it easier to just say nothing works. Doors swing open both ways. Get moving, get exercising, get on the right antidepressant and give it time to work. Stop looking at what you don’t have and assess what you do have.

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Thank you for your words, they are appreciated.

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