I am not like mustard

Daisy tells Aza that their mutual friend, Mychal, thought of Aza as mustard. To mean that because of Aza’s mental illness, she was like mustard : great in small quantities but then a lot of her is… a lot. This is one of the conversations I keep reading over and over again.
This is not the part two that I was to write. The part two will come in its time. Since the last blog post hell broke loose. In my mind. In my body. In my life. So really part two was nowhere to be found. Even this post that I am here writing and rewriting is an act of defiance against whatever has been going on.
I am not mustard. I am not like mustard. Aza is not like mustard. No one living with a certain condition whether mental or physical is like mustard. To be like mustard is to be an inconvenience which is not what we are. We are human beings.
I have been thinking about the “art of being mustard.” Being close friends with someone who has a mental illness is apparently a lot of work.
There are times breathing is all I can do. And even that can be a daunting task on some days. I wonder though if those I am working with on a project understand this. Because I am supposed to be reading articles. Working on new ones. Going through what we have done so far. Sure. I am not okay but I must at the very least still do something to show I am not using my illness as a crutch. Sickening. That whole trail of thought is nothing short of sickening. It has been ingrained in me that everything else should come first, even before my life. It does not matter whether I am being unable to even eat as long as I can do my classwork. Yeah. Like my classwork is my oxygen. I mean I love reading. I really do. But there are days even that is a problem. Do you understand what I am saying?
I am not okay. I really am not. I cannot even eat. I cannot leave my bed. I cannot do my classwork on time. How do I tell my group mates that breathing, not our project, is my number one priority at the moment? Am I like mustard?
I am not okay. I would love to go out and meet your new friends but I cannot. At least not at this moment. You wish I would not be this way. You and me both. Still, in the dead of night I ask myself, am I being like mustard?
I am not okay. I have no energy. I would love to help with the chores. In fact, I will do my chores. However, not at the exact time you want me to. I will do them at my pace which matches my energy. Still I hear your sighs as you decide to do all the chores. I think that perhaps I am like mustard.
I am not okay. I am not great with crowds or many social situations. So you hide my existence from your other friends. You are ashamed to say that I am your friend/ best friend / girlfriend / boyfriend /someone important. And all I think about is how without even doing anything I am like mustard.
I think it is very easy to break people’s lives into convenient and inconvenient parts. So it is easy to put the illness or condition of a person into the inconvenient category. What this leads to then is that the person becomes an inconvenience too if you are not careful. I do not think it is fair that you want me as a friend as long as I am okay. As long as I have energy. The moment my illness and its consequences come into play I become an inconvenience.
You are okay with having a friend struggling with depression as long as they do not have a depressive episode. As long as you do not have to check up on them. It is so easy to promise to be there for them, to check up on them until the situation actually requires so. Suddenly, they are too much work. They need a lot of attention. Suddenly they are an inconvenience which you will ignore until they bounce back then you will be friends again.
You say you are okay with being friends with someone with an eating disorder. Until when they have a problem with eating. Suddenly you wish they would just get over their “issues” and be okay. Suddenly being friends with them is too much work.
You say you are okay with being in a relationship with someone with a mental illness. Until when they are not okay. They morph into an impossible task. Funny how you feel this way when the rain is pouring down, but when the sun shines, everything is okay.
If you know you cannot handle being close friends with someone with a certain condition, I think it is only fair that you do not get engaged with them. There is no need for you to pick the convenient parts of their lives. These people are already trying so much to be okay. To live another day. To feel like humans. There are ways you can support a loved one who has an illness or condition. There are articles you can read. There are suggestions you can try. You can even ask them how you can help.
I am not like mustard for taking a break. I am not like mustard for stating how I feel. I am not like mustard for saying what is working for me and what is not. I am not like mustard for expecting basic kindness. I am not like mustard for choosing me. But suppose you feel that I am like mustard, I suppose it is a good idea that you avoid mustard in your daily diet.
You have the choice to forget my illness. I do not have that choice.
Like Aza said, “…imagine eating NOTHING BUT mustard, being stuck with mustard ALL THE TIME…”

One thought on “I am not like mustard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s