I remember watching this video in early psychiatric drug withdrawal and feeling baffled at their joie de vivre, wondering how the hell a person could access such a state and what the hell it felt like. I remember how utterly perplexed I was by the comfort they felt in their naked skin, their bodies gently around them like soft cloaks while I sat there trapped in this mound of psychiatrized flesh, screaming in desperation, literally pulling and scratching at the smothering skin-prison until it reddened and bled but still wouldn’t break open…
That was only four, five, six years ago.
Now, when I watch, I smile and nod in solidarity, because I know. I know what it feels like to be at home in one’s body. I know this joy they’re beaming out into the world, for it’s back alive in my heart, casting its beautiful shadow that I know today as my life-long traveling companion, darkness.
I know all of this not because I learned about it in a self-help book or because anyone taught it to me or because I got therapeuticized into it… but rather because I decided to let go of all of that searching and turning over of my own power. To let go of the false, imprisoning stories I’d been taught about myself by the “Mental Health” Industry and all its purported “experts”– that I was so-called “mentally ill”, that I needed so-called “professional help”, that pill bottles and “therapeutic interventions” were my answer. I even, eventually, let go of the story that I was a “victim of the mental health system”, after realizing it was a prison unto itself.
After all that letting go, there I stood, towering over these massive piles of crumpled layers of false stories and life-sentences. And stripped down into this existential nakedness, I was finally able to start remembering who I really was– (not in a thinking way, but rather feeling, feeeeeeeeling, right down into the marrow of my bones)– and how unbelievably exquisite it feels to be fully human, darkness, pain, despair, joie de vivre and all.