I Am Not My Mind
Posted by
23rd May 2014

SANE supporter Giselle Evans has shared her wonderful piece of prose, as part of SANE's #healingwords campaign.


I do not know who I am any more. Which is the real me?

Am I the striving perfectionist high flyer - aiming for the next goal, the next award, the next approbation? Staying up all night to finish a stupid report. Not any more. I left her behind a long time ago. She was too stressed, too busy, too exhausting. Too self obsessed. (Ha! That's a good one.)

Am I the mum I wanted to be? Serene, reading stories, playing games on the carpet, on the grass, in the pool? Making clothes, making jam? I was for a while, in between goals. But I never made jam. And I wasn't always serene. But I was never mean. (Not intentionally, anyway.)

Am I the caring lover,always there with a smile, a kind word, support, intimacy,understanding? I try to be. When I am not possessed by the spitting angry bitch, annoyed by everything, wanting nothing, deserving no one: living in a hell of my own making, a pit where everything is wrong, where spears of hate and gloom pierce my skin from all sides,where I am sinking into a quagmire that threatens to engulf me, where I am so trapped and so scared that I wish to be engulfed, annihilated into calm.
Am I the jolly treehugger, a little eccentric, a little cynical, but full of hope and joy and belonging. Stoical, standing back in the embrace of nature; regarding society with patronising love and witty analysis. Or always active, always willing, full of plans and projects and dance. Sometimes, maybe, a little too positive, a little too active, but hey! Magic is real, anything is possible. Que sera sera.

More often I am the tired, uncertain loser. The failure. The guilt ridden. The aching fatigued “I can't stand this any more” tearful middle-aged child. Unable to focus, to decide, to open my eyes or hold a pen. When a slight mishap is a disaster of epic proportions and I need someone to help me but I feel worse if they do. I'm useless, how can you stand to be near me?

I am all of these, and none of these. I am not what I see, or touch, or taste, or hear or smell. I am not what I feel, I am not what I think. I am a collection of perceptions, a network of messages, of chemical traffic, sometimes running smoothly, sometimes taking risks, sometimes gridlocked.

The real me (whoever she is) struggles under the strain, drowning in all the chatter. But occasionally, nowadays more and more, she can stand back, content; observe the restless traitorous mind, as if from a balmy distant mountain peak; understand it, embrace it, at once detached from the noise and more acutely aware than ever; secure in the embrace of the cosmos, in the knowledge that I am Everything. And also Nothing - at all.


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