I’m no different than anyone.
I’m a girl. I love music. I love nature, painting, and photography. I scream at concerts, and laugh at my own jokes.
I fear so many things. I lose hope sometimes. My mind–my mind gets the better of me sometimes. It tells me lies.
But I’m fighting the lies! I am fighting for my life against the thoughts that say I’m nothing. Put rocks into your pockets. walk into the river.
I won’t stop fighting it. I won’t stop saying back to them. No! I won’t. I’m worth something! I know I am!
With time I’ve learned to fight back against my mind, to fight against the part of me that wants to give in. But it’s hard enough to fight the battle inside of myself.
Who am I?
Am I monster? Or a victim?
Did God make a mistake when he formed me? Did the devil make me for some hellish joke or some evil work?
No! No! The chaos makes it hard to see. But I know, I know my life isn’t a mistake. I know the pain I feel has a purpose. To better me as a person. To make me able to help others. To give me compassion. To teach me to be brave. To show me that no one should have to be perfect in order to be loved.
I fight to realize these things.
I only wish others saw it too.
For so long I’ve felt shame to tell my family and friends about my struggle with depression and anxiety. I hid from my friends, and put on a smile for my family. But when it came to the point when I couldn’t hide it anymore, I drew back from relationships rather than telling people the truth. I remember one situation when I was in university I had been struggling alone for so long and secluding myself. Then one day I revealed to a friend that I had been seeing a doctor and had been diagnosed with depression and that they thought I might have OCD. Her response was one that I can never forget. I was crying and ashamed and just wanted someone to tell me I was okay. That it didn’t change who I was. That I was still me! The girl she had been friends with. But instead of assuring me of that, she nodded as I spoke and said she had to go. She had promised to meet with someone else at the library that night. Over the next few weeks that I remained in my room, leaving just once every other day to get a meal from the cafeteria, she never came back.
It hurt at lot at the time, and looking back I can still feel those hints of rejection and judgment. I know that’s why I have lost a lot of my old friends. I was too afraid they would do the same thing, and think that I was strange, or crazy. That if they knew why I had cuts on my arm they would think I was dangerous and disgusting.
Unfortunately that stigma really does haunt sufferers with mental illness. Many who need help and support from a doctor or psychologist, don’t seek it, because they are too afraid of the negative impact that revealing their struggle might have on their life. The article I have linked below explains the stigma that surrounds mental illness, and why it has developed. It talks about how the media promotes a negative identity onto those who suffer with various mental illnesses. It also goes on to say that these stigma’s make families with loved ones with mental illness, and mental illness sufferers live with a false understanding of their loved ones and of themselves.
For so long I had heard the lies told to me by society that it wasn’t okay to have a mental illness, and that mental illness was something that weak people suffered from. I was aware that they were portrayed as “crazy” and in all my perfectionism I couldn’t imagine people thinking of me that way.
I don’t want to feel ashamed!
I want the stigma to break!
I want anyone with a mental illness to speak out! Talk to your friends and family! Tell your story! Because that’s the only way we can overcome the false persona that the media has put out. It haunts all those with mental illness and makes recovery so much harder, as many people will not seek help.
I am hopeful because of what I have read from others. People are speaking out! But I want the message to go even further! I don’t want another young girl or boy to have to sit alone in his room, ashamed of the thoughts in his head. I don’t want anyone to fear they are unlovable, or that their mental illness changes who they are.
It doesn’t change them!
They are so important, and so amazing! Please, don’t be ashamed!