What do you want people who love and serve the mentally ill to know?Okay. I’m not really allowed to say what I’m about to say. In public, we people who are mentally ill are supposed to hang our heads and only speak of our challenges as things we want “fixed” for fear of folks accusing us of “glamorizing” our condition. We’re supposed to declare that our way of being is dangerous and wrong and everyone else’s way is better and we are supposed to want to join the troops and fall into line. And so those who love us are confused and angry when we are resistant to getting help, to taking our meds, to being “cured.” Every other sufferer of a disease wants to get better, why don’t you?I’ll tell you why.Because sometimes we understand that our inability to accept and live resignedly in the world we’ve been born into is chemical and personal and that we need help integrating. We hang our heads and say: It’s not you, world—it’s me. I’ll get help. I need to get better.But other times—we turn on the news or watch closely how people treat each other and we silently raise our eyebrows and think: Actually, maybe it’s not me. Maybe it’s you, world. Maybe my inability to adapt to the world is not because I’m crazy but because I’m paying attention. Maybe it’s not insane to reject the world as it is. Maybe the real insanity is surrendering to the world as it is now. Maybe pretending that things around here are just fine is no badge of honor I want to wear.We addicts—we have rejected the world as it is. We left the big world and started hiding inside the small world of addiction for a reason. So inviting us back into the world as it is — it’s not effective. We are too smart to rejoin a party we couldn’t stomach. And so when someone we love and trust wants to invite us out of addiction, she needs to consider what she’s inviting us INTO. Okay—you want me to come out of here…but into WHAT? Because when we peek out of our world and into yours; when we look out and see everybody still shooting at each other—literally and figuratively—we think: no thank you. I’ll just take my chances in here.