I’m sitting in the break room at work. It is a way station for people on break. Fifteen minute turn around, aside form myself who sits for two hours before my shift begins. Surrounded by refrigerators and microwaves, I settle in. The table is riddled with sixteen ounce plastic water containers. No names, no dates. They will be walked to the garbage can and dropped in like bad lettuce. Do not abandon your water; it will take flight. My four quart bottle wears my name and the date. I will gulp from it over the course of my five hour shift, despite the fact that I will use the restroom even thirty minutes.
If you’ve been with my blog for long, you know I have schizophrenia. I’ve been struggling. Struggling to stay in the common reality, the reality in which this blog is being written. I attempt to use my feet and hands like armor disbanding the electrical currents that run through my mind. Lately, my feet have felt like blocks of wood preventing me from walking away from my mind into the light. My mind is in shadow. My hands feel like tentacles grabbing the wrong things. I have no use for a stapler, yet my hands move me to search. “Please don’t staple my hand to a book I need to shelf,” I tell my mind. I work at the library as a page; putting books away is one of my duties.
So my feet and hands haven’t offered much in the way of protection, but my heart has. I love my job. I like my colleagues. They are frozen fruit bars working their way toward becoming popsicle sticks at the end of their shift. Clean and useful, they build houses.
My mind lives in the house of my body. My body is lean and strong like the stalk of a sunflower. I use it to get to they gym. I use it to do cardio on the treadmill. I use it to lift weights. I have been blessed with physical strength.
I also like to think I have been blessed with spiritual and mental strength. I know my soul trumps my mind. My soul is steady, consistent, kind and loving. My mind can take a rest in the dark, but then be catapulted into the light with the same force. I don’t give up on my mind. It is what I have to dream with, to imagine with. It is what thanks God at night for a well lived day.
I struggle, yes. But I have never been completely broken. There is much faith in me. I will step out. I will smile. I will say hello. I will live. This I know.