Reading with Mental Illness

For us, the finish line is a mirage

The setting could be anywhere — exam hall, darkened bedroom, office cubicle, fluorescent ward hallway, family dinner, warm subway grate — but the feeling remains the same. All your physical, mental, and emotional energies have been spent trying to contain something you don’t fully understand, yet somehow you have been confronted by One More Challenge. It may, on the surface, appear to be a minor event — the startling wail of an ambulance, a missing item on your grocery list, an out-of-place encounter with someone you used to know — but it’s enough to tip the scales. Your mask slips, and you transform from being systemically invisible to performing under a spotlight. Bystanders watch you out of the corners of their eyes. The police — well, they were watching you this whole time, weren’t they? Suddenly, the threat isn’t just inside you. It has leaked out and revealed an ugly truth. To those around you, you are...