Honesty is the best policy: a kind of poem
An adaptation of the writings of Hilary Mantel, who got it so right. Suffering a serious invisible illness will reveal this truth.
They treat me as an invalid.
The brute fact is I’m an invalid now, and I’m not entitled to reconsideration, certainly not consideration on negotiated terms.
I’m not entitled to a sympathetic policy, or a policy of my own.
I fear that if I don’t tell the strict truth, my integrity will be eroded; I will have nothing then, no place to stand in this world.
The more I say I have a physical illness, the more they say I have a mental illness.
The more I question the nature, the reality of mental illness the more they find in me denial and delusion.
It is confusing; when I speak of my confusion, my speech turns into a symptom.
No one ventures a diagnosis: not out loud.
The nature of this sensitive and intelligent man, it is believed, is to be hysterical, neurotic, difficult, and out of control. And the object is to make him behave.
Don’t be like them. I beg of you.