In the end, I feel that romanticizing mental illness is dangerous and destructive just as stigmatizing it is. So I want to say that, yes, I am mentally ill. I’m not embarrassed about it. And I have written my best work not when flirting with the brink, but when treating my chronic health problem with consistency and care.
The metaphors we most often employ when discussing disease—that it is an enemy to defeat, or a hurdle to jump and put behind us—don’t really apply to chronic illness. Instead, you live with it. You get better. You get worse. You get better again. Sometimes you’re driving the bus and sometimes you aren’t, but the bus rumbles along regardless.