Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 63

This is the 63rd story of the mental illness recovery series. Rhett has been through hell and is trying his best to move forward in life. This is his story:

Photo from: Rhett
Photo from: Rhett

Rhett is and atheist, absurdist and vegetarian from Israel, and he is an artist. His entire life revolves around the many forms of creation whether it’s painting, writing, photographing/filming, or just brainstorming for original ideas. Rhett said, “I draw inspiration from literally everything. With that being said, I keep most of my work to myself because of my own ridiculously high standards and perfectionism.” He spends most of my time gaming and his current favorite games are Layers of Fear, League Of Legends, and Mad Max. He listens to all kinds of music genres, but he prefers alternative rock. Movie wise he’d rather watch horror genre and as for books he loves to read about the Second World War and the Nazis. Rhett’s future goal is to lead a group of fugitives in a post-apocalyptic setting where Putin and ISIS brought civilization to its knees or simply becoming a professional dog trainer and moving to Australia.

He was diagnosed after a hospitalization for being a threat to himself and others.  He said, “I was being 100% honest when I told them that if they won’t take me in, I’ll either take my own life or another person’s” Rhett was diagnosed with various mental illness, which are: clinical depression, dysthymia, social phobia, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, post­-traumatic stress disorder, gender dysphoria, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. Rhett believes the causes of his mental disorders is due to genetics, society and abuse from his family.  He was prescribed Lustral, Depalept and Etumine, and received talk therapy, but the most therapeutic part about his admission was actually just being there. Rhett said, “We had our own school and lots of after-school activities as well as a regulated schedule and daily group sessions — and I believe that was what really helped me feel human again, because all I used to do before reaching out for help was lay in bed all day and wait for a silent death.”

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His mental illnesses took a toll on his life, Rhett dropped out of school when was about 16, barely ate and hardly slept. He self-harmed and started smoking, drinking, and using drugs. He said, “Somewhere in-between all the crying and suicide attempts I even managed to get raped, almost ran away from home, almost became a prostitute, and almost murdered my ex. Honestly, I felt like sh*t.” Rhett also said to himself, “Damn, Rhett, who would even want a self-centered, megalomaniac, disordered f*ck who hears voices and pretends to be a guy? You should just off yourself and rid the world of your existence”.

Sadly, Rhett attempted suicide many times, but thankfully never pulled through. He tried hanging himself, jumping in front of a vehicle or walked slowly in the middle of a busy road. Since Rhett wanted a quick death he resorted to beating, flogging, and strangling his now ex out of frustration and resentment. He said, “I remember abusing others besides him, too — a couple years back, when I was still in school and an easy target for bullies, I had this habit of taking my anger towards them.” He is not proud of any of the things he did and is trying to control himself better.

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Image found at:

Rhett’s social life was a disaster. He was so hostile and paranoid that he convinced himself that every single person out there would either rape or kill him. He ended up lashing out and truly believed that by acting that way, he was protecting himself from any harm. Due to his behavior he ended up with a criminal record. Rhett does not consider his family as his own anymore and doesn’t have any friends to lean on.

Because of this he felt forsaken, Rhett said, “I felt like an abandoned dog — angry, lost, confused, and tired. I felt like I was waiting for a savior that I knew will never truly come. And that, in turn, made me feel the most alone I’ve ever felt in my entire f*cking life.”  Rhett’s turning point was six months ago, when he finally decided to seek professional intervention. He said, “That is the only reason I am still alive today, typing all of this. I didn’t overcome my illnesses and I don’t believe I ever will; but I’m trying to live life despite having them. I try to remember that I am just a person with needs, and that I have the right to take breaks and live life as comfortably as I can. I don’t need to torture myself in order to get by, I’ll adapt. I’ll make the best out of what I have today.”

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Rhett doesn’t have any strategies and isn’t organized, he mostly acts on impulse. He eats, sleeps, and smokes pot whenever he feels like it. He takes things one hour at a time, and because of this he doesn’t mind the idea of becoming homeless. Rhett tries to be as self-reliant as possible, evading help in fear of others exploiting any signs of weakness. But thankfully he turned to the hospital for help. He said, “The staff there helped me a lot, each in their own unique way, be it by giving me meds, managing my day until I get used to living like a human again, or by talking to me when I feel down.”

The lesson he learned from this ordeal was to not get attached to the wrong people and not let others run your life for you. Life has changed Rhett in many ways, he is now an atheist and absurdist. He used be an avid follower of God and had a naïve outlook in life. He said, “It made me wiser, more resilient, and taught me how to fend for myself (sort of). I won’t lie, it also made me pretty bitter and stingy. But I don’t think anybody would remain a precious cinnamon roll after going through literal Hell.” Rhett doesn’t know any healthy ways to prevent anything from happening again, he is on his way to becoming an alcoholic, but is willing to reach our more for help.

This is his advice for others struggling with similar mental illnesses:

“If you need a person to lean on just to get through the day, you go an lean on them (with their consent and approval while also respecting them). Feeling low on energy to do things is valid. Your experience is valid. Your past might be behind you but your scars aren’t and nobody has the right to sh*t on that, ever. Take things slow. Process things at your own pace. Find people who will understand you and accept you for who you are and look past your “labels”. Get a pet. Sometimes taking care of another being who loves you unconditionally can help ease the pain. Use art for venting. Be smart about what you spend your money on. You do you. I believe in ya’ll.”

Rhett would also like to share this:

“One of my friends is a combat veteran. His name is Jerome. When he was released, he soon found himself homeless. He had no family at the time. He suffered from severe PTSD, depression, and NPD, among other things. So he turned to alcohol and drugs when he saw society didn’t give two sh*ts about a lone ex­-soldier with nowhere to go. And after a long while of self­-destruction he just got up and said “f*ck it”. He got detoxed. He tried to care for himself as best as he could. He found a job. And met his now husband, who helped him open a hair salon specifically targeting the veteran demographic. He gives them haircuts for free and offers a hot meal to go along with it. Also, they adopted an orphaned girl named Chyna. I know your situation might be a 110% different but I just wanted you to know that things do get better eventually. But it’s OK if you won’t be able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps because everybody’s different. All I’m asking of you is to have a little hope. Because hope is what keeps us alive when the world comes crashing down.”

Rhett has long way to go, but hopefully he will be able to live the life he wants. He has suffered way too much in life and it brings me joy he is still here fighting to get better. Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on facebook.

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