i have all the symptoms. sore throat. trouble (ok, it hurts like hell) swallowing. my glands are swollen. my ear drums ache from the pressure. and a look into the back of my mouth with a flashlight revealed: strep throat.
still, i needed someone to confirm. fortunately, i am blessed to have a good friend and brother, who happens to be a dr. within seconds of taking a look, he suggested antibiotics and a regiment of aleve for the pain.
i breathed a sigh. i’m not crazy. i really am sick. a doctor said so and he gave me medicine.
i think about how much we just need someone to tell us we’re not crazy.
i meet bi-weekly with a mentor, and tonight was the night. he listened well to my rants and struggles with, what i am calling, my “quarter-life/faith crisis.” he listened without judgement. he listened with compassion. he was well-armed with thoughtful questions. and most importantly, he said i wasn’t crazy.
even better, he said i made sense.
too often i find that we perpetuate emotional and mental “disease” because we will not offer a simple confirmation to people that they’re ok. we suppress identity and encourage a sheep/herd mentality. we suppress expression and push conformity. we tell people they are crazy if they don’t fit our mold or revolve in the patterns of our society.
the freedom to process and ask questions and challenge the norm has always been important to me, especially lately. it is hard to articulate what is happening internally, but the image i get is of having these cages around me, pressing closer and closer against me. and just like that, the doors have been opened, and my fragile wings are spread, taking flight. new perspectives abound as i stumble and fly and stumble again.
no matter what, i have a choice in this. i get to choose. and i’m not crazy. i am a human bird, freed from my cage. ready to fly.