I was on the phone with a friend last night, lamenting the fact that I’ve suffered from a significant delusion for almost 1.5 years, and only discovered a few weeks ago that it wasn’t real. I felt like I’d been taken for a ride, my perspective had been hijacked, and I assumed I must have lost quite a lot in that year and a half.
Then she asked me an odd question: And, is that okay?
If she’d said, “oh, it’s okay…” I would have resisted. I would have balked. I would have told her all the reasons it’s not okay to be possessed of a false idea for long periods of time.
But since she posed the question, I considered it.
And it is. It is okay. The last year and a half has been really wonderful and beautiful for me, and this particular hiccup only affected a few areas of my life and relationships. It affected my view of myself and the world significantly, but outside of my own head, it did no major damage.
And for that, I’m grateful. It’s true that if I’d decided that it wasn’t okay, I would still be unable to change the past. And it’s true that letting it go might be the logical response. But I think I’m mostly grateful that I didn’t have to force myself to accept that the error was irreparable, I could simply let it go.
And this is how I move forward. Letting things go. It is exceedingly exhausting to spend so much time trying to determine whether every little thing I do or experience has some underlying spiritual component that needs to be healed. While I initially believed this particular falsehood because I wanted my mental illness to be “fixable,” it turned out that viewing the world through this lens was not only tiresome, but unprofitable.
God can heal anything, even an oddly-structured brain. But it’s possible, and even likely, that my version of healing looks more like accepting my schizophrenia and living well with it. There is something strangely beautiful about the ways it requires me to be vulnerable and rely on others. I have seen people step out to help me, and find themselves in a better place because of it. And I am living well with it.
So when I see clear spiders on white walls, I am not going to ask Jesus if the spiders mean anything. If they are bothering me, I could go to a room with colored walls, or better yet, outside, where the spiders are real. And this is how I move forward.