If your house (or apartment in my case) was burning in a fire and you could only grab one thing—what would it be? Any ideas?!
My first thought is Sidney—now I know he’s not a possession, but the man is pokey. (Love him; don’t love that about him!). So if our building was burning down he’d probably be meandering around the apartment collecting his hard drive, putting on his shoes, fixing his hair, turning off lights. [Sidney quotes “The victims always get interviewed. I have to look good for it! haha”] But since he would be adamantly opposed to being called a possession (and I’d agree), I have to figure out something else.
My onesie: I bought it when I was still single and was trying to save money on heating bills. Seems like a weird favorite possession. But never underestimate the power of keeping me warm…and it’s fun and ridiculous. Two things I really like. Also, as you can see in the photo—it’s very sexy. And what female doesn’t like an outfit that makes them feel sexy?!
My slushy cup: This is the most amazing thing ever invented—they make enjoying my favorite food even better. What’s not to like? And as you read in the June 11th post, slushies have significant meaning for me. My scrapbook: I’m sure you can understand why this is a favorite possession—especially my wedding book where I stored dried flowers, cards, and decorations.
My rock: Rick gave me this rock during our last therapy session and could probably fill a post itself with its symbolism and meaning in this object. Short story: it represents where I’ve been and where I’m going.
My journals: I have saved my journals (more sophisticated than diaries) from a very young age. They record girlish crushes, my crazy thoughts, secrets, and anger or annoyance I was feeling towards my parents.
Judge me if you want (I judge myself a little!), but these were truly the first five objects that popped into my mind. While each has a particular reason (some more so than others!) that they were chosen, what I find more interesting than each object alone, is what the objects represent collectively. One fear I have (that is actually legitimate, unlike most generated by my anxiety disorder!), is that my life will be represented or consumed by my mental illness.
Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be”
Are my most prized possessions things like my cocktail (meds!), mood chart, books full of techniques and tips, or even the rock I discussed? Is that “where my heart is”? I hope not. Instead, I’d rather someone look at my life and see my love for my family, good times spent with friends, and even my passion for the color turquoise.
With the exception of the rock, things related to my illness weren’t forefront in my mind. When I realized this, I was rather pleased with myself. But in the middle of patting myself on the back, the other foot dropped. The other four objects are actually intricately connected with my illness.
- My onesie: It’s warm and comfortable. I feel wrapped up and almost ‘safe’ in it. It can help calm me during a panic or anxiety attack.
- My slushie cup: See June 11th post for detail, but basically it reminds me of my support team
- My scrapbook: A great tool to help relax me during times of high anxiety
- My journals: A detailed and vulnerable description of my life and story
Well crap. Maybe my life IS consumed by my mental illness. Or is it?
One goal of this blog is to spread the word that depression/anxiety/bipolar is a chemical imbalance; truly a brain disorder. If that’s the case, then clearly it is going to influence every aspect of my life. As much as I’ve tried, I have yet to figure out how to take my brain out, put it in a glass jar and come back to it later. So in the same way a pair of hazel eyes reads both the journals and scrapbook, or my sense of humor comes across in all four objects (the onesie in particular!), so my mental illness does as well.
The objects above represent me; all sides, facets, and parts of me. Even the ones I might want to hide, such as my lack of artistic talent in my scrapbook, my addiction to caffeine in slushies, or my illness.
And that I’m ok with. I’m learning to treat my illness so it becomes part of my life, but does not consume it. I’m working diligently to manage my illness so when some archeologist in the future finds and analyzes my belongings and prized possessions—they see not a woman dragged under by her illness, but one with the strength to surf the waves instead.