When I was 23 years old I met with a half dozen psychiatrists to figure out once and for all what was wrong with me. See, there was a thing in my brain that made everything colorless and bad and weird. It made me sleep fourteen hours a day. It destroyed my appetite. It managed to convince me that I should die.

I took a lot of tests. I did a lot of talking. Ultimately a conclusion was reached, and I was told I was a certain kind of person who suffered from a certain kind of illness.

I still have that illness. I have had it since I was 13 years old. I will have it till the day I die.

As it happens this illness is poorly understood and almost impossible to explain to people whose brains are, at least on paper, perfectly normal.

And here’s the thing: when you mention the symptoms to people who are ill-informed or incapable of understanding (and often they are both), they suddenly transform into an expert on the human brain because they read a 150-word article on WebMD like ten fucking years ago. Eagerly they dole out some old-fashioned home remedies for how you might shake yourself out of possessing a genetic disorder that manifests as a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Read a book! Try going outside! Run! Swim! Learn to sail!

Listen: fuck off with this trash. I have been listening to idiots say things like this for more than half my life and I’m so god damn sick of it. I’m glad you were able to get over your girlfriend dumping you in college, but this isn’t the same thing by a long shot.

You know what the world is to me most of the time? It is a loud, violent, shapeless haze. Everything is peripheral. Everything is smeared. I can only hear my own bad thoughts. I can think of nothing except how I should be dead.

There is no book. There is no outside. There is no running. There is no swimming. There is no fucking sailboat.

There is only this: the invisible suicide time-bomb hidden deep inside my brain.

You can scoff at this all you want, but it’s just as absurd to go up to someone in a wheelchair and tell them they’d probably be better off if they just tried a little harder to make their legs work.

Have you tried standing up recently?

I mean, are you sure your legs don’t work?

So: Go ahead and gulp down that self-help turd smoothie and let those of us with broken brains live out the rest of our miserable lives in peace.