What would you wish for if you had one chance…or three?
The genie gives you three wishes, what are yours? Pretend for a moment you could have or do anything. It’s tough to narrow it down to three options when you could really just wish for a billion dollars and do anything you want from there. So let’s give this some parameters.
You are part of Make A Wish foundation, now what is your wish? I bet it’s something completely different than the unrestricted billion-dollar dream. I have been thinking lately about what I would do if I was a part of this organization or one similar. Now don’t go thinking I’m an asshole for talking about wanting a wish from Make A Wish, an foundation famous for helping terminally ill children fulfill a dream, but when ESPN is running a story on these wishes left and right one can’t help but think what she might do in that scenario. And it doesn’t have to be Make A Wish specifically, but I noticed when I used this organization as my filter my wish had little to do with me and more to do with my loved ones.
Like a cancer, mental illness affects both victim and loved ones. Everyday my family worries about what I may do, who will wake up that morning, the rational, dry-humor, smiling Laura, or Ms. Hyde, a sad, unhappy girl juggling depression, anxiety, and passive thoughts (the kind I really don’t wanna talk about). Who will show up that day?… And the worst part, they have no control over it. No amount of ‘we love you’s or ‘it’ll all be okay’ can turn Hyde back into Jekyll, what’s done is done for that day. And sometimes it’s just one bad day that changes everything.
Can you imagine the guilt that goes along with knowing you cause your family that much hurt? That you are the reason they worry everyday? And this guilt only makes your own lack of control over your emotions even more frustrating and debilitating. So yes, I am entitled to a wish…in fact I’m making three.
Wish 1. I want to take my family to Disney World and make them Grand Marshalls for the day, this may seem like a weird wish but let me explain. My family loves Walt Disney World, we have been going for years and even have a trip planned next week. Everyone else grew up down the shore, we grew up in Disney World. And we really don’t need the rides or any of that, it’s all about the atmosphere.
When you go to the Magic Kingdom they always have a family chosen to be the Grand Marshalls for the day. Basically this family stands there when the park opens, waves, rides a train, and of course get buttons or some other cheesy shit, it’s all really corny but whatever; we have never done it, we want to. My parents go to Disney all the time and I want for them to be Grand Marshalls just once. Sure if Disney threw in a great hotel suite, some fine dining food options, and prepark hours so they could have the place to themselves that would be great too, but mostly I want to give my parents something small that money can’t buy. For that day I want them to not worry about me and know I wished this for them as the tip of the “thank you, I love you” iceberg. Wish 1: Grand Marshall parents.
Wish 2. I want to take my husband, a golfer, to St. Andrews for golf’s The Open Championship next July 2015. Going to St. Andrews for The Open is equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca, as a golf lover, you need to go once in a lifetime. I am not a golfer, nor do I really know what is going on, but I do know St. Andrews is one of sport’s most holy sites. St. Andrews is romantic and frankly what’s not to love about rolling greens and an ominous overcast (I always loved the sky before a storm).
My husband worries about me at least as much as my parents if not more. He works his ass off everyday so I won’t have to go back to work immediately and have time to find a job that will keep me happy. He texts me numerous times a day, praying I’ll answer. What must it be like for him knowing any given day he could lose the one he loves, and during serious depressive episodes, it can sometimes feel like that.
So my second wish is for him. I wanna take him to a place we will probably never get to, for an event we will probably never see in person, to transcend this illness in a holy place (and for us, sports are prayer and their arenas our temple).
Wish 3. So you have heard of people running across the country for a cause, kayaking across the Great Lakes for a cause, even crossing the desert for a conservation cause… well I want to do this, for both myself and my stigmatized disease. I want to walk from my home outside NYC to Disney World (refer to wish one).
Methodology: people often associate mental illness with insanity. They think of a crazy, disheveled shell of a person with no grasp on reality or their emotions. However this is NOT the face of mental illness. Mental illness is your pretty girl-next-door neighbor, your affluent Wall Street broker, your friend from church, your coworker, your kid. Mental illness is everywhere, we just don’t always see it, it’s now time people see it.
So often when you’re in a manic episode or a depressed episode you stop making yourself available to others. You stop chasing your dreams and stop believeing in the magic life has to offer. This walk would change that for me:
Firstly I would have a goal; a concrete plan, something to work for, something to be better for, some reason to wake up as Jekyll, not Hyde. /// Second I would have a purpose: do this walk, looking like everyone else. Put on my makeup and look like the happy Laura, Dr. Jekyll. Show every person I stumble across along my journey that mental illness isn’t something to be stigmatized because you’re looking at it, and it isn’t what the stereotypes say. I am not a broken person, I am just like you. I’d raise awareness and money with every step, every mile a major stride towards not only for charity, but an understanding. /// And finally it’ll be fun. It’ll be fun to pursue the peace everyday that I achieved on yesterday’s walk (refer to prior post). To find my “moment” of joy on a daily basis and end in a place that brings both me and my family much happiness, the happiest place on earth in fact.
In conclusion, if I had the funds and the help, these are my wishes. Someday in the near future I hope to make one of these happen if not for me, but as a thank you for the ones I love.