February 2, 2019
To a friend struggling with psychosis,
The entire being of who we are could be theoretical. We can attest that our being is real, but who’s to define what that means? Who’s to prove that we are nothing but a thought? Nothing but a subconscious reality in someone else’s mind?
Yet, to question this means that who we are and how we are belong to someone else. It strips away your truth to have felt, to have seen, to have experienced. Our experiences are true because we have lived through them regardless of whether or not we know we are real. My therapist posed a question once. She asked me, “Whether or not this is real, why does it matter?” she then asked, “Will this change how you live?”.
I’ve found myself struggling in this too, friend. But in this struggle, I’ve realized that we can throw bets or ruminate in thought wondering who and where does our reality belong to. Even as humans, many of us may have had an existential crisis where we have questioned why we are here. Maybe we are searching for an origin story long past our lineages or our histories. Even if there’s an entity greater than God that could explain who we are and how we are, will that change the way we live?
We are who we need to be, right here-right now.
I learned that even if I’m confused, the basic notions of human kindness, respect, and love transcend past the question of whether or not things are real. Ground yourself in this.
Times will get really confusing. People might be confused by the way you are at war with yourself, but know that I see you. I see you as loved. I see you as a friend. As someone who has struggled. I see you as someone who is trying, coping, capable of thriving. These moments are fleeting, but don’t lose yourself in that.
Breathe in clarity, release tension. Repeat. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I don’t know if we’ll ever really be okay, but I’m betting on it. I’ll be here with you to find out.
Resources for those with psychotic disorders
National Alliance for Mental Illness
Crisis Text Line – Text TWT to 741-741