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Certified at 35

  • 26 February 2014

Certified at 35

Certified at the age of 35. I felt less than five, little more than three. They dragged me kicking and screaming, raging into the psychiatric ward.

I felt like an accident waiting to happen, or a bomb about to explode. My head felt like it was going off.

I could hear all the important people in my life ticking me off. 'You don't make the grade,' said old school teachers. 'I don't love you,' said ex-boyfriends. 'Go to hell,' said my enemies. 'Get a life,' said supposed friends.

The mental hospital was now my life. I felt stifled, almost set upon with a rifle.

I felt myself shrinking the more I talked to my shrink. I could no longer pretend I was fine. I could no longer shine. However, I could secretly pretend I was divine, at times, like a goddess or the Virgin Mary.

How I wished I could just shrug off my illness. But my illness held me tight. I was put under the microscope, nurses and doctors examining and controlling my every move from morning to night. I felt at a crossroads: choose the easy, safe, narrow path, or go deep into the heart of the vast, unexplored jungle.

I felt stripped and bulldozed, as all my possessions were taken off me, and I could do nothing to get them back. I could pull no strings, as even my shoelaces were done away with. I felt as dispossessed as my clothes.

I wished I could get back on my feet, take off in my own private helicopter to greener pastures.

I felt uncared for, both by myself and by others. As I stared out the barred window, I caught my neglected appearance in the glass. I felt like a stranger as I took in my lanky, heavy hair and body.

I wished I could be light years away, when life treated me well. Life was once easy. Now everything was effort: getting up, looking after myself, moving around, stringing a sentence together. I felt stripped of my powers.

How I wished I could prove myself as a strong, successful individual, stand on my own two feet rather than being dragged through the mud by those professionals and the patients who rubbished me for not conforming.

I longed for home. But there was no turning back. I felt chained to the mental hospital.

I felt as enraged as a bat out of hell, as I found myself getting