Every day is progress. The illness tries to tell me otherwise, but frankly, it is wrong. I had to stop writing there to eat some cashew nuts, just to spite the illness. One day I am going to portray the illness in a painting. The painting will be the most visually and sensorily (?) repulsive thing that has ever been created by anyone ever. That is how much I hate this piece of shit illness. It will not destroy me. I will destroy it. End of battle/convo.
….anyway. I was interviewed last week about my experience for a big tabloid paper, I may have talked about this already. Today, a photographer took some pictures of me in front of a tall building and we also made a small video of ‘Pihla’s top tips for supporting someone with an ED’. I was glad for the video, as the article, in my opinion, focused too much on my story of being ill and less on how my recovery started, how one can help a sufferer, what kind of treatment is good treatment, and all those other important messages one ought to get out there. So hopefully through the video I can get my annoying face in front of people who would benefit from hearing my words.
It’s daunting though, appearing in the press. I am not appearing under my surname, but those who know me from my work in the field will recognize me from my first name. I also styled and coloured my hair differently to what I am currently sporting in daily life. It’s really stupid, but as someone who has had immense trouble finding employment in ‘Funland’, I am still very paranoid about prospective employers finding out about my illness. *I* know I have nothing to be ashamed of, but I am not convinced other people, who perhaps have no first-hand experience of mental illness, will all know it.
I would like to think that in today’s world, where the society is so disordered that it has made us all have mental health problems (okay, maybe not all of us, but too many IMO), everyone would understand that this is not my choice or my fault and because of this illness I am not a worse employee. Even when I was super-ill no-one ever commented on my performance at work, so as far as I know, I have always been a good-enough employee. Now that I am in recovery I am obviously so much more equipped to handle working life, as well as any other part of life. But, I am still a job seeker, and coming out of the closet with a ‘sordid past’ of mental illness is always daunting, no matter how much I would like to think it shouldn’t be.
A part of my thoughts on this matter are still mildly clouded by the paranoia that is one of the ‘fun’ symptoms of my illness. I am recognizing it and telling my illness to stfu. I feel that people who would react to me telling my story in the paper in a negative manner are probably afraid of what they do not know. Again, I think of the ‘system’s’ obsession in trying to make us into robots and yet, we are no such things. People who would react to mental health problems without understanding and compassion would probably come from the school of ‘We Shall Be Productive Robots’. They also come from the school of ‘Massive Delusion And Denial’. I went to that school once, but the cafeteria sucked and I don’t recommend it to anyone.
And so I have made peace with the fact that some of my relatives will be ripping out, folding and storing pieces of newspaper this coming weekend. Fuck it, I am for a good cause. The good cause is life, beating this illness and helping others do so. Ain’t nothing shameful about that.