The Severity of Mental Illness is Determined by a Box

When I was a very young child, my brain and mind were free and open to see and create beautiful visions for my life. I had a lifetime to make my dreams come true.

There was no box.

After a few years passed and the abuse began, I saw the box and visited it occasionally to protect myself from the pain caused from the outside world I knew.

This box was always visible to me, but I could still get out the box.

After I gave birth to my first child, a large box swallowed me whole, entrapping me inside. The box encompassed me, leaving no windows of hope to see through. My life and view of the world became very dark.

Eventually, I found a glimmer of hope. The light started shining in and I had hope again.

When I found hope, my window gradually increased in size until I could peek through an opening of my life knowing there was a chance to escape from the darkness of this box. Hope was within my reach and I held on to that hope with all my strength.

After being diagnosed with postpartum depression and bipolar 1 disorder 25 years ago,  I have never been able to completely break free from the confines of my box.

Many times my box had great big windows of opportunity. Sometimes only one side of the box remained, so my sight opened up to a better day and brighter tomorrow.

Imagine being in a large box that is closed shut. It is very dark. Blackness surrounds you.

Sometimes, a horizontal rectangular window of light opens up so I can peek through.

My rectangular window of hope varied in size and dimension throughout the years depending on the wellness of my brain and mind, and which bipolar pole I was in or near.

At least I had a view of hope. Sunshine peaked through. My rectangular window of my life changed from day-to-day.

The larger my rectangular window became, the more hope I had. The greater the vision of hope I had, the more beautiful the picture of my life became.

My ability to function and live my life depended on the size of the window of hope inside my box. I was still living, but my vision and living had been obscured from this mental illness box that surrounded me.

After many years of living with this mental illness box surrounding me, my box grew darker and my window of hope destroyed. There were no more windows to see out of or to bring light inside my box of life. I was gone. I left. My brain had died. I had no more hope to see.

When I did not have the ability to hope or see clearly, my brain shut done and took away my rational thoughts and ideas to live. My thoughts did not seem to be my own, but they were the only ones I had and could hear. I knew nothing else. My perception of reality was wrong. My brain fired lies at me that I could no longer fight.

I began to listen to the illogical lies my brain was telling me and soon I could no longer stop the words I heard inside my own mind. I obeyed the commands inside my head. They ordered me and I obeyed with the inability to stop the demons and darkness inside me. These words and commands were uncompromising.

I followed the commands I heard. I had no other choice. There was no decision to be made. It had been made and decided for me. I seemed to have no choice.

That is what happened to me and my brain on the morning I should have died, after my last suicide attempt.

My brain remained dead for days until I began to see a light peer through the blackness of my box.

My spark of hope began to flicker.

I pray my window of hope will continue to grow larger every day,

until I can see beautiful visions of hope and faith for a great life.

I want to view and live my life again, completely free from my mental illness box.

I pray to have more than a window of hope to peek through.

I want to view and live my life free from mental illness stigma,

and free from a box.

Copyright © By Susan Walz and – All written content and personal artwork is © and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.