I am a freelance editor and writer living the country dream in rural New Zealand. I'm terminally single, and live with my pet rabbit, Trixie. Visit my website at www.skyebothma.nz
The problem with mental illness is that there is more misunderstanding than ever surrounding what mental illness actually is.
Last night I was in Egypt. It was early morning, the sun just beginning to rise, painting the base of the pyramids a liquid gold. There was a chill in the air – making me wish I'd brought a sweater, even though I'd have no use for it in only an hour or so, once the morning sun had fully awakened. I stood at the base of the world's most iconic ancient wonder, arms wrapped tightly round me to stop me shivering, feeling the dewy air wet my hair. I strained to see the top which seemed to disappear into the clouds forming from my own breath. I felt the excitement of finally getting to see something I've wanted to see all my life and so unexpectedly. After all, only a few hours before I had climbed into bed and switched off the light with no travel plans for the immediate future.
As an incurable romantic who longs to find the kind of love that defies logic, defies the odds, I have struggled with everyday relationships that have gone nowhere and left me feeling hurt and betrayed. I’m always trying to make sense of this elusive emotion, always trying to understand why love works for some and for others it is one heartbreak after another. Is the secret compatibility? Is lasting love built on friendship rather than attraction? Are there forces at play that can predict its success, like the forces needed to keep an aircraft airborne?
You expect it. It’s inevitable; you know it’s coming, yet when it does the news still manages to drive a stake through your heart. He moved on, you got left behind. Again.
I have a real issue with depression being termed a mental illness… wait, let me finish… because sometimes depression isn’t depression. Sometimes it’s a normal and natural state of being and by calling this depression we are labelling a whole group of people as mentally ill when in fact they’re perfectly well.
You might not see it when you first look at me, but I am different. I have come to accept my singular experience and have learned to blend in, becoming something of a shapeshifter adapting my character to match those around me, to hide my 'alienness'. But blending in is not the same as fitting in. You might be able to hide that part that doesn’t fit for a while, paint over it, dismiss it, ignore it – covering your ears while singing loudly, even convince yourself that you are like everyone else, but it’s always there and it just takes one piece of music, one movie scene, one heartfelt speech by a Hollywood celebrity to strike a chord and bring it all flooding out into the open.
On the question of love I have both a creative brain—specifically that of a writer—and an analytical brain, that of an unrealized scientist, and so I am blessed with both emotional and rational perspectives. And like many a bard, poet, philosopher, psychologist and neuroscientist, I have pondered the nature of love both in terms of the romantic notion and the scientific neuro-chemical basis. Yet, it still eludes.
These days, with multiple networks overflowing with content, TV shows are a dime a dozen. Most are meh, some pretty good, but it’s rare to find one that is simply outstanding; Lucifer is one. On the surface it might seem that its sole purpose is to entertain, but there is so much more to the show. It is because it has so many layers, the writing is so good, and it has such a powerful message on top of being plain good fun that I love it so devotedly.