Experience Reconstruction Window

What was the greatest pain of my mental illness?

This will be hard for me to explain, and harder still for most readers to grasp. The greatest ‘pain’ of my mental illness obviously could not have been purely physical . . . but it was not a purely spiritual pain either. It contained a noticeable amount of physical discomfort while being mostly spiritual discomfort. What it felt like was . . . well, imagine the life force that is through your body shifting just a little, but enough to ‘tear’ away partially from your material self. A similar feeling might be that of ‘dying inside,’ but my ‘internal death’ felt a lot stronger than that. I experienced this feeling after I had come to in the psychiatric hospital and I had the urge to go out the door and run away. I kept trying to get outside. Every time that I tried to do this, I was gently but firmly obstructed by the nursing staff. This greatest pain was my realisation that I was not free and could not be free.

By Stephen Plustwik

'In the face of all my foes I am a reproach, an object of scorn to my neighbours and of fear to my friends. Those who see me in the street run far away from me. I am like a dead man, forgotten in men's hearts, like a thing thrown away.'—Psalm 31[30]:12–13 (Grail).