Born with Burns

Born with Burns

Born with Burns

Sometimes I feel like I was born with a scorched body that never healed. I’m walking around in the world, a world full of sharp edges and prickly branches and concrete landing spots. These things hurt everyone when they pass them by or fall onto them, but for me, after 41 years of observation, I feel quite confident saying these things hurt me much more than they do the average person.

At the moment my wife 14 years and I are going through a divorce. It’s not that we don’t love each other or care about each other. It’s just that things aren’t working and they haven’t been for a long time. There’s a lot of friction that causes unnecessary pain and angst for us and for our children. It’s been a hard and years-long decision, but the last few weeks as we have taken definitive steps has been brutal.

On top of that, and forgive me for complaining publicly, but most of my closest friends and family have entirely failed to offer any comfort in the midst of this. I watch as my wife’s family and friends rallied to her side day after day and just feel consumed by loneliness at the lack of calls on my phone or texts to say “I’m with you.”

Today I actually feel like I want to die for the first time in a very long time. I’m grateful that his been so long since I felt this way, but I forgot how awful it is. I’m at that point just prior to being truly in danger where I just hope something tragic will happen to me and it will all be over. Like I said, I feel like a burn victim who is more wounded by the ordinary events of life than most others would be.

Life is painful no matter who you are but when you have a mental illness what might otherwise be tolerable pain becomes virtually intolerable. What might be deep sadness turns into soul-and-life-threatening sadness. What might be Xanax-requiring anxiety about the future turns into wanting to drink yourself into oblivion even though you haven’t had a drop in over seven months, as is the case with me.

As much as it may seem so, I am not writing to air any dirty laundry or to be passive aggressive toward anyone. I am writing because it is more apparent to me and ever day like today how much we need each other. People without mental illnesses simply do not and cannot get it. They can try and some of them are very very good at trying. But unless a day like today has led you to feel what I have described it is probably very hard to relate to what I’m talking about. I could understand if you wanted to say to me “Tim, pick yourself up by your bootstraps and move forward.”

But I’m not writing to those of you who feel that I should do such a thing. I’m writing to those of you who read what I said and immediately thought “I completely understand what he is saying.”

And I have a challenge for you that I will never quit giving as long as I write this blog: if you understand what I’m talking about please find someone in or around you inner circle and make a habit of inserting yourself into their lives.

All of us need each other. But those of us whose sanity feels so tenuous need the support of others all the more. If there can be one good thing that comes out of me having a really terrible day, I hope it will be that you are reminded of how much good you can do for another human being simply by understanding what they’re going through. That’s the greatest, and really the only, gift we have to give.


After summiting Mt. Everest at age 7, Tim Blue went on to earn a PhD in Physics from Oxford by age 9. After cloning the first emu, Tim became bored with science and decided to pursue his passion for lemon farming. This led to a long-time guest spot in the Kardashians' show where Tim helped Kim accept herself and quit being so shy. Now, of course, Tim is an English teacher at Georgia Perimeter College.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Tim, thanks for sharing & what you described resonated with me. I hope that tomorrow is a better day.

  2. So sorry for what you are going through right now. The end of any relationship, regardless of the circumstances is devastating. I have been there myself and have walked the road with a friend who like you felt abandoned by friends and family in one of the worst scenarios that he could imagine. While the place you find yourself in right now is so very painful, know that it will pass and things will change. Seek the support of those who understand your illness and avail yourself of a good counselor or therapist and talk…until you can’t talk anymore. Keep reaching out and sharing your heart…the fire that feels like it will consume you will be the same fire that brings light to others in this world who are waging the same battle.

  3. Oh, Tim,this breaks my heart. Hang in there. Very very brave.

  4. Hey, Tim, I’m trying to avoid saying something like, “hang in there, buddy!” Being a self-conscious writer of sorts myself, I’ve started and revised this comment at least three times…the only surviving words being “Hey,” and “Tim.”

    As you say, “give yourself some Grace.” I love that…so now, I am saying it to you.

    This is, no doubt, a difficult time for you. Going through a divorce, even when amicable, has got to be tough. I can only imagine how hard it must be. When I’ve gone through tough times while in the funk, it can be hard to move, think, enjoy anything, or even escape the grinding pain by sleeping, medicating, or self-medicating. I truly get it, man.

    I want to be encouraging, but, jeez, when I’m depressed, encouragement can just be annoying. Like when I’m down on a sunny day–that frickin’ sun is just mocking me. Stupid sun.

    Anyway, try to allow yourself some grace today. Sometimes breathing is enough of an accomplishment. If the guilt won’t let you “just breathe,” make a one-item to-do list for the day. Pick something that sucks, too…you feel crappy whether you do anything or nothing, right? Scrub those bathroom tiles. Your well self will thank you (yeah, but F that guy right? Can’t trust him.)

    Anyway, that’s all I got. I’m waiting for my car to get towed to a garage I can’t afford…now, where did I put my Ativan?

    Peace and love, my brother.

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