Hello World, I will call myself Marantha Jenelle, one of the two pen names I write under. This blog will primarily be about living “enhanced” (the ‘politically correct’ term for anyone suffering an emotional or mental illness) in a predominantly non-enhanced world. It is my way of reaching out to those who suffer an emotional illness as I myself do.
I suffer from bi-polar/schizo-effective disorder, adhd and severe agoraphobia. I have never sought to hide it, as I do not see it as something to be ashamed of.
The illness itself is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is treatable and non-contagious, although it can be hereditary, and most importantly, a lot of bi-polar people manage to function in society without society even being aware that they have the illness.
Many famous (and infamous) people down through history have suffered emotional or mental illnesses and managed to still lead somewhat productive lives. Abraham Lincoln suffered from bi-polar disorder, Van Gogh suffered schizophrenia, and many other people in our history suffered emotional or mental illnesses.
Yet they all managed to somehow fit into society. Sadly to say, in those days, they did not have the science nor medical knowledge that we have today. In those days, severe cases were locked away to spend their lives in darkness, mocked, reviled, alone.
And in some cases tortured and killed. Yes, that is right, for people in those days were very superstitious. If they, say, saw someone walking along talking to themselves, they immediately thought that person were possessed and the poor victim was often tortured in the name of “healing”, or even worse, locked away or put to death. It has ever been man’s nature to first fear, then hate, then attempt to destroy that which they do not understand or have no explanation, in their terms or frames of reference, for.
I am, at the time of this writing, newly turned fifty three, and I was officially diagnosed in nineteen ninety five. But, in looking back, I feel that the symptoms began prior to that. I would even go so far as to say that I suffered the illness my entire life, but that it went undetected. It has only been recently that there was even much study and awareness of mental and emotional illnesses, and cures sought.
There have been major breakthroughs in the field of medicines to help treat those with emotional and mental illness, and further breakthroughs are being made every day. No longer are we locked away, persecuted, killed, simply because we are “different”.
But make no mistake, even in this supposedly “enlightened” society of today, we are still shunned, reviled and mocked, and often totally ignored as being unfit to “mingle” with the “normal” people. And this same thing applies to the physically disabled, whether it be by birth or by accident.
For instance, has even one of you who might happen to read this ever caught yourself staring in repulsed fascination at someone suffering a physical disfigurement or a physical disability…and silently thanking God it wasn’t you? I am not proud of it, but I myself used to be guilty of that very thing, but at least I will admit it.
I did not then realize one basic truth until I myself became one of those “misfits”-those “outcasts of society”, and that truth was that those people had feelings, hopes, dreams, disappointments and all of the same joys, trials, and hurdles to overcome-often, in fact, more so-that I myself did. In short, they were human too, just different.
There is a young man, a very talented writer, with whom I feel a special connection. I talk to him sometimes, and given that he is, as I said, very young, he is extremely wise for his age. The subject came up one day when I was talking to him about the fact that there seemed to be people reading the things I posted, but none of them seemed to find any of it even worthy enough of a scathing comment, much less a positive one. He informed me that I needed to open up and not just post my stories and poetry, but that if I wanted others to share their thoughts with me, I had to share something as well, that I had to “take part” by reading and responding to others if I wanted them to notice and respond to me.
In short, I had to “step out of my comfort zone” and begin taking part in life itself.
You see, for the past eight to ten years, I have been very nearly totally reclusive. I have never, even as a child, fit in anywhere, no matter how hard I tried. I spent nearly my entire life trying to be accepted and fit in, with no success.
Then, on the morning of my fiftieth birthday, I realized something. I had spent nearly a half of a century trying to change in order to have people accept me and gain their approval, and in the end, I no longer even knew who I was.
And, as I walked through the tiny apartment that had been my prison for seventeen years I made a promise to myself…for whatever time is left remaining to me, I will be true to myself. My story, “EMILIA AND THE ANGEL”, was begun on that night. It is one of the four inspirational stories in WALKING WITH ANGELS, my very first ever book.
With the exception of meeting my guardian angel, the things that Emilia comes to realize on the day of her fiftieth birthday were in truth the very things that I myself, as I sat weeping at my dining room table, thought about and came to realize.
And one of the most important things that I realized that day was that I had worth, despite what the world at large had spent it’s time trying to convince me was just exactly the opposite.
And that is the reason that I am now sitting, at nearly three thirty in the morning, on only two hours of sleep, writing this blog. My mania is riding me hard, and with it comes racing thoughts. Amongst those thoughts were the words my young writer friend told me. And as those thoughts began to fill my head, they began to overflow into my heart and I realized that I might have something useful to say after all.
I do not know much about that very spooky world outside the safety of my home, but I do know about what is in my heart and soul and that there must be others out there who share my dark journey. So it is to them, more or less, and to their families who suffer with and for them, that I will be posting from time to time on this blog.
It will not be every day, it may only be once in a while, but I want to reach out and try to let them know that they are not alone, that they do have worth, and that with faithful adherence to their medication schedules and simply learning some coping skills, they can gain at least a modicum of control over their lives.
I will state this in closing, you do not have to suffer an emotional or mental illness, or be physically disabled to feel outcast, ignored, nothing but a mere shadow walking through life. Misery, hardship, misunderstanding, prejudice, all are “equal opportunity” demons. But there is hope, as long as you keep one thing firm in mind…
Believe in something, if only in yourself.
I wish any and all who should take time from their busy lives to read this message all of heaven’s most wonderful blessings
MARANTHA D. JENELLE
And if you who read this should find it in your hearts, and have the time, please leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on how you would handle living as an enhanced individual, or if you do in reality walk that path, just know you are not alone.