Writer: Beth Hallman | Sometimes, this is what happens, friends. This is raw and in the moment- my personal experience with mental illness and my journey to love my body just as it is.
What happens when you don’t fit? When a one size fits all life is too small for someone bigger in every possible way? Most places don’t feel right or good or comfortable. I guess, if it were just my body, I could soldier on, but it’s not anymore. My body finally caught up with the rest of me- my too big Crazies, too big emotions, too big ideas of who and what I am. I’m sittin’ here on these steps, just to the left of where families are filing in, where my own family entered this auditorium, so they can watch happy learning happen. I’m sittin’ here weepy eyed and filled with death.
What would happen if my Crazies spilled over like my belly does over my lap? What would happen if I tried to fit all these too big emotions into one of those teeny, tiny auditorium seats? Would everything just erupt? Would the building just crumble under too much me? I wonder at times like these if I can pretend long enough and well enough to get through this journey. So many people can see my Crazies now. I write about them openly. Do people see me as the quirky, eccentric, fun chick or as a deranged, psycho lunatic? Maybe a little of column A and a little of column B. It’s not just sadness oozing out of me at times like these. It’s sadness and shame. How can I be this crazy?
Sitting here, weeping just off to the left, where people might see me still if they ‘round the corner… Those people would know that my mister has a crazy wife. How embarrassing for my family to have to have this too big person in their lives. They’ll ask themselves one day, “What the hell was wrong with our mother?” Or maybe, just maybe, my children will know empathy and love and light, because the world demands that everyone fit and not everyone does.
I’m standing here after two trips to the basement bathroom (back stall, natch) for full-fledged crying fits and I can feel the quickening descent I make into depression. Now, the performance we came to see is just about over and, as the crowd applauds and responds to the music, I wonder…
… what happens when you just don’t fit? How do you keep going and doing and being when you don’t fit? I can’t weep my way through life. I have to hold on when these episodes hit. I have to remember that I don’t have to believe anything I think right now. I might not be the best mama, but I’m the one those Littles chose for their journey. I’m not checking out early, even if I don’t fit. Even if I’m too big for the teeny, tiny auditorium seats, too big for normal stuff like watchin’ a performance, too big to fit where “normal” folks do.
Sometimes, I have to sit to the left of where all the other people are. Most times, my body and my mind don’t fit anywhere. But I’m still here. I’m going to try my best to give the Littles what they need and be a partner for my mister. Loving myself, just as I am, is a constant act of willful self-acceptance. I’ll embrace the truth that it’s okay not to fit. Perhaps being too big, too crazy, too me is simply too much for a one size fits all world.