Mental health & sassafras

I’ve been trying really hard to work on my mental health lately, and I think what I’ve been noticing is how difficult it is to tease apart what’s part of your disorder and what’s just you. Maybe partly because I haven’t been properly diagnosed with anything other than anxiety and depression despite the fact that I’m pretty sure there’s an underlying cause of both that I haven’t yet named or had a professional figure out for me, I don’t really allow myself the luxury ever of seeing my mental disorder as separate from who I just am as a person.

But it isn’t just who I am, that’s the whole point of having language to identify and categorize mental disorders (or at least one of them) – it becomes possible to understand yourself as two things, the you that’s being obscured by the illness, and the illness itself. “Illness” sounds like a bit of a strong word, but I’m trying to just let myself talk without all the second guessing and editing for a second.

The point is, it’s hard to even realize that there’s a you underneath waiting to break free from the “disordered” you if you don’t allow yourself to mentally distinguish between who you are and what you struggle with. I may struggle with anxiety and depression, for example, but that doesn’t mean that who I am deep down is characterized only by fear and sadness. Who I am is, in fact, obscured by those things, which is what makes them dysfunctional.

This all probably seems pretty obvious to most people, I don’t know. But I couldn’t sleep so I decided to blog.

Anyway in getting out from under some of the things that have been weighing me down, I’ve decided to be a clown, apparently. I’m not quite sure how we got here, but I’m excited and glad that I did, and I chose a clown name for myself based on a childhood nickname – Sassafrass. It’s also interesting to note that I did a little research on sassafras as a result, and apparently it’s thought that the word comes from the Latin for “stone breaker” because sassafras roots are known to break stones, I guess. Listen, I got lazy with the research, but the point is, maybe there’s a helpful metaphor in there somewhere.

If my brain is the soil and my life is the tree, then the mental challenges or illnesses or what have you are the stones, and what’s important is to make sure that you nurture the roots enough that they have the wherewithal to break through the stones so they can get to the real soil waiting underneath. Does that make sense?

Anyway I also like the image of a plant breaking a rock for the obvious reasons, and I do fancy myself as having a “kill them with kindness” type of vibe, in my best moments, so the name fits for a variety of reasons, I think. Plus sassafras is apparently also used in the healing of wounds and is a controlled substance due to having chemical precursors to MDMA which is where the metaphor sort of breaks down but… is still some fun trivia….?

Who even is going to read this? Anyone? I could say whatever I want here, and it probably wouldn’t matter. FLARGLESCHMARGLESCHMOOPDEDOOOOOO

Alright I guess it’s time for bed lol

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