At 27 years old I find myself in the grocery store trying to buy food for the week ahead. It seems easy enough, everyone around me is doing it with ease.
The thing is, every time I get home I find myself stocking my fridge full of condiments. Ketchup, pickles, olives, ranch dressing…
Ask me why, someone as intellectual as I, is not able to grasp the concept of simple adult tasks. Basic common sense seems to elude me.
Along with the lack of such skills, I also have a hard time with change, building friendships and managing my moods.
I’ve been diagnosed with both high-functioning autism and bipolar disorder. It has been a wild ride.
A hilariously wild ride.
When I do get home and begin putting things away in the fridge, I realize exactly what I’ve done and every time I vow to do better.
On the good days I end up buying bread and can usually fix together some kind of sandwich.
Now, finally after much debate back and forth between my ego, my pride and my fragile sense of self… I have decided to ask for help from the professionals that deal with this sort of thing.
This sort of living.
Impulsive on the seat of your pants, feeling everything so completely, loving, and hating, and dancing in the kitchen in your underwear at 3am, sort of living.
Was it difficult?
Yes, it took me at least 10 years to ask for the help I needed. To admit to myself that I couldn’t do certain things on my own. To admit to myself that I just didn’t seem to measure up to what a normal adult was supposed to be. That maybe, I didn’t fit into the box society wanted a productive member to fit so slenderly into.
It took me 10 years to remove the pressure I put on myself. The pressure to make my parents, my partner, my community proud.
I very slowly came to realize that the only person I was really hurting by pretending, was myself.
And, that any healthy person who loved me would understand. They would simply have to, and if they didn’t … well, that really didn’t matter anymore. What mattered is if I felt good.
What mattered, is if I felt safe in my own mind.
What mattered, is if I was living in a way that made me proud of myself.
Which brought me here, at the age of 27 asking for help to understand my own mental illness. With help buying groceries and making a list of priorities. Help with cementing a real routine, getting on the proper medications and finding the proper outlets.
Will I still buy a lot of condiments?
But, now I’ll be that much closer to actually buying something to put them on as well.
It’s not romanticizing mental illness. It’s trying to let you know all the small little things that happen.
All the good, the bad, the weird.
So that maybe if you are out there struggling you don’t feel so alone. That man, is a beautiful thing.
Keep living — keep growing — keep dancing in the kitchen at 3am.
You’re worth every minute of recovery and triumph and connecting.
Love to you all,
— you are loved. you are worthy. you are blessed. —