Mental illness? What is mental illness?

Tell Your Story: Mental illness? What is mental illness? As if one could ever diagnose the human condition in a word or two. Let me put this in a way everybody can understand… I have a dear friend of mine and a conversation with him went a little bit like this. This is my story out of a “diagnosis.”

F: Can you point to a diagnosis, Carter? 
C: What do you mean?
F: Where is it? Can you point to it for me?

C: Yes, I can - you’re looking at the diagnosis, buddy.
F: Funny, now point to your diagnosis.
C: I don’t see how pointing at my forehead is going to get us anywhere.
F: Then try some other place to point to it. I’m only trying to find out if these things really exist because so far I haven’t found one and I’ve been looking for years.
C: Okay… I still don’t see how pointing in the general face area - the hair, eyes, nose, is going to help me find this diagnosis. I can’t point to it. 
F: Well keep trying…

This went on for about another 10 minutes because I fought my friend hard on the preposterous subject of pointing to a diagnosis. I kept violently pointing the finger at my face screaming, “THIS! THIS! THIS. IS. THE. DIAGNOSIS! IN. HERE!”

My friend didn’t respond to the idiocy of the statement because “IN HERE” is not a sentence. In where, buddy? Is what he probably wanted to say...

Luckily his no response left the violent pointing at my face to be turned into an innocent, perhaps comical act of human investigation to the soul and life purpose. Pointing to a diagnosis? C’mon…

My face began to slowly glow as my eyes lit up (all of this happened according to my friend, a very wise individual) and a small grin began to crease on my mouth. 

Before I could answer to the dawning of this new experience of freedom, my friend burst out, “The thing you keep pointing to Carter is YOU Carter! So what’s all the racket you’re creating about yourself? Get with the program, this is life, buddy, and it should be lived accordingly. You’re everything you ever could have hoped for in life, now what’s waiting? Get out there!”

I’ve never been the same since this conversation. Do I still take medication for my extraordinary human tendencies? Of course I do.

Nikki Hune