Dear Mental Illness,

I shall start this by saying you are a coward….BOLD, but a coward. It’s been a few years since our horrible relationship has been in the open, but who knows how many years prior your cowardice creeping has affected my life. You crept in silently, slowly, depleting me of the resources to rescue myself from even the most benign of difficulties. When the time was right, you attacked with all the fury of an angered god, and at a moment of my consistent weakness, you left me for dead. You took away homes, resources, and liberties of my ability to dream for myself, and left me in caged box with no possible sign of release. Your anger towards me is so scathing, it’s visible; not just in my physical presence, but in the diminished light that once brightly shined from my soul.

You prey on the weak and use terror like scissors, slicing a person’s entire being, leaving nothing left to even piece back together. You’ve attacked me physically, by swelling my mind with such fear and self loathing, it caused uncontrollable shaking, leaving me in a coiled position, alone, with no recognition of a future.

Your consistent attempts at my well-being range from taking away a healthy appetite, to sleeplessness, to difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. You’ve attacked me relentlessly. You cam at a time of sadness like any coward would do, and completely turned a life of privilege, into one of pity.

You’re LOUD too. You demand to be heard from a demonic horn that not only deafens, it blinds. You’ve all but convinced me that my days are numbered, and I would be removed by my own hands.

You’ve done ENOUGH.

In my worst moments, you manipulated light so well, all I saw was dark emptiness. You attacked my being so vengefully, I didn’t even have the physical prowess to cast a shadow. You made me poison my body with any substance I thought might provide relief, leaving me sickened and destitute. I once was so poisoned, both in mind and body, that I waited anxiously for natural causes to take me, but instead, you left something inside me that remained barely alive, only to keep witnessing the suffering firsthand. You’ve made me contemplate my death, as if it were a fantasy, nearly taking me from a world I once called home, insisting I have no place in it.

You’ve made me into an evil creature, though it is solely an evil I express only to myself.

You are a demon, my worst enemy, and you live inside me.

There’s one caveat to your master plan, and it is that you cannot, and shall not win. There’s some major kinks in your system. For starters, as a coward, you will recoil at the first sign of a fight. I’m telling you now, start creeping back to the depths of what you slithered out of, for a fight you shall have.

You may have taken all things material away, but as you see, I’m still with substance. With all the pummeling you’ve given me, something far greater and bigger has instilled in me FAITH. This faith that lives…Yes! LIVES… in me, around me, and through me…has guided me from your clutches into its warm and welcoming arms, grasping me tightly with the promise to rescue me no matter how much my mind drowns in your lake of fire.

This faith, fueled by the governing power of the life giving Universe, show one indomitable law made simple….life wins! Though you may put notions in my mind that tell me a tale of despair, the breath inside me continues and demands to be heard as well. Life’s breath continues, harmoniously, rhythmically, and without fail.

You are not judge, jury, and executioner, as the facade you pose would have me believe. Instead, you are a simple chemical disturbance that can, and will, be dealt with. Unfortunately for you, there is indeed help, poised and aimed directly at your weakness, which is getting you… The medical community has armed itself with something far greater than you can muster…understanding. It works tirelessly to combat what you’ve so strategically, but brutally, have brought to this battle. Medication, therapy, and a strong support system create a lit path to healing, where you have though you’d created a mortal wound.

No matter what you do, I will trust in the ways of the Universe and claim my share of its divine abundance. Your attack on my life has played a joke on you and your plan has backfired Your insurgency against my life’s splendor has created on particular byproduct I’m sure you’ve never seen coming. Although you attack the mind, and its emotional state, unbeknownst to you, they have evolved.

My brain now works at a higher level with incalculable speeds, of which I’m learning to control. My brain now has a direct line to the higher workings of the Universe and what they show me is wondrous.

Call it the Universe, Mt. Olympus, Gaia, nature, or as I see it, God; it is this power of love in its absolute form responsible for all the happiness in this world and others, and in this lifetime and the next. It happens to be in my corner, and this I shall cling to with all I have.

Finally, and without fail, I am LOVED. No matter what attempts I’ve made during my suffering, to alienate and isolate from those closest, they treated me with unconditional love, never doubting that I would, or deserve to, surface from the depths of the dark waters. No matter what I said I was, they’ve known me even when I didn’t know myself, forever reintroducing me to a person that was loved and admired. Never at any point, have they allowed me to think I was in any way damaged, and have instead instilled in me the fact that I am cherished.

Precious is my life. Loved I am by many.
My life is, however you try to confuse, attack, and refuse me, TRULY RICH. I see the mountaintop. The climb may be arduous and difficult, but I will scratch, and claw, and keep my grip when moments grow hard. Together, with my support network, and arsenal of attributes, I will win. I will teach others to do the same. The war wages on, but this battle goes to me…
Your move.
—Craig Vaccaro