Reader Comments

Memory Hack

by Alisa Princy (2020-01-02)

Now I am "recovering". Memory Hack Review Truly, I'm in better shape than for some time. I have a diagnosis and treatment regimen and do include myself, usually, amongst the mentally ill, but I'm not as consumed with thoughts of mental illness, mental health and recovery. I'm not in denial, nor resentful of my bipolar role, which can even have advantages; I just don't recognise myself anymore as the mentally ill person I sold myself some years ago. Recently a friend with a mental health diagnosis termed us both "disabled". I recoiled. I may use such a self-description, if only out of habit or for mercenary ends. Many with a "mental illness" are recovering more from their treatment and such self-descriptions than anything else. A micro-industry has grown up around "recovery" but the need to recover is not automatically due to definitively real causes. Recently it occurred to me that I might not be "mentally ill"; that my diagnosis might be incorrect (I 'm not saying it is incorrect, only that it might be). Empirically "bipolar disorder" doesn't even exist; it's a convention of psychiatry. I'm therefore existentially ill. Genuine human mental disturbance and illness exist, and there has been positive movement in their treatment. However, without greater awareness, "recovery" and mental illness can be mutually reinforcing: the diagnosis creating the treatment that feeds the secondary illness that will necessitate recovery. To reclaim our health and identity, the idea of "recovery" must eventually be dispensed with. "Recovery" reminds one of what one is recovering from, reinforcing the presence and reality of "mental illness". It enables disablement. Am I "recovered"? I'm better. I've "taken a journey", from the edge of a cliff into a brick wall, under the wall, backwards through the exit into the light. I've accepted myself as much as I'm likely to; not much, but there again I can be an objectionable character! Still, I've defied and survived myself. I've seen myself, using the bipolar idea, as two halves of a soul locked in civil war, but there's been only one of me all along, as stubborn and deluded as ever. As a thought experiment, imagine that there is no "mental illness" or "recovery" needed from. Burdensome beliefs and conditionings, and even the most positive outcomes borne of them, are gone. What word sums up what someone mentally ill wants? I say, without hesitation, "Freedom!" From suffering, services, medication, self-labeling and stigma, and supremely from oneself as "mentally ill", "disabled". This is why I want to and will completely "recover" who and what I'm. I'm not "disabled", "mentally ill" or "recovering" or "recovered". I know exactly who and what I am. I'm Jeremy. That's enough.