I’ve been putting off writing this one for a while, because mental health isn’t my favorite subject.
If you know me, you know that I don’t know that I don’t hide the fact that I deal with anxiety and depression. I try not to let it show, but it’s something I struggle with. I usually don’t say much about it, because I hate talking about it, but I feel like right now it’s something that needs to be discussed. I don’t hate talking about it because I’m ashamed of it, I hate talking about it because I hate dealing with it.
It’s not like it was years ago, when I was looking for a way out. It’s not like it was years ago, when I was too afraid to speak up about anything. Well, it is and it isn’t. At least now I fight back. I fight against the demons and voices saying it’s better to give up. I fight against the mentality that I’m a waste of space, and that no one wants me around. I fight against the feelings of not wanting to wake up anymore. I fight like hell to come out on the other side, and see better days.
However, I still have my days.
I still have days when getting out of bed feels like the toughest thing in the world. I still have days when I cower in the corner, because I’m thinking too hard about the 40 million things could go wrong, instead of the things that could go right. I over think most of the choices I make. I still have days when I lock myself in a bathroom stall and cry for no reason and find it extremely hard to breathe. I still have days when I am incredibly sad for no reason.
No, I’m not cutting or burning my wrists anymore, but there are definitely days that I want to. No, I’ not taking 8-10 aspirin and hoping that I don’t wake up, but I have days where I feel like being run over by a car or train wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. Yes, I will defend myself in situations where people are blatantly screwing me over and being shitty, but I still spend the next 4 months thinking that it probably was my fault and I’m being too hard on the person. Just because you’re better now than before, doesn’t mean that you’re ‘fixed’.
I always force myself to remember all the progress that I’ve made, and that if I had checked out when I wanted to, I would’ve missed out on so many of the wonderful people and things that I have in my life now. I am truly 100% grateful for every person I have in my life now, and I know that I wouldn’t have made it this far without them. However, I also feel like a burden to them and that I’m weighing them down. I don’t want to tell them about my bad days, because I don’t want to bother them.
I also know that if I don’t tell them, they’ll be worried about me all day and I feel even worse. All of this to say that I have good days and bad days. My mental illness is very real, and I’m handling it the best that I can. I’m not ashamed of it, because it’s apart of who I am. That’s not to say that I don’t hate every minute of it. Why do I bring this up? Because too many people are ashamed of it, and too many people still think depression and anxiety are an excuse to not do or deal with anything.
For those of you struggling, you’re not alone and speak up. This isn’t something you have to do alone, and you shouldn’t have to. Always know that you’re not alone in the way that you feel, and there’s always help available. You don’t have to be brave and happy all the time. You don’t have to be strong all the time. It’s okay to not be okay. Anyone who makes you feel lesser, is someone who shouldn’t be in your life. You matter and you have a purpose. People need you here and they want you to stay. It’s a cliché, but just give it time. Give yourself time, get help, and fight like hell. You are someone’s reason to smile. Please don’t quit.
For those of you who put others down who struggle with mental illness, how the hell dare you? What right do you have? Because you don’t understand it, it isn’t real? You’re apart of the problem. You can’t blame everything on laziness. I stopped participating in school because I just couldn’t anymore. I would’ve loved to graduate with all my friend and NOT stay back a grade. However, everything felt like it was too much and I constantly felt the world caving in. I had no will to live, let alone do an assignment about molecules. Not everything can be solved by washing your damn face and drinking some tea. Sometimes people don’t want to go out and eat ice cream with friends.
Sometimes you just want to sit in your room and cry. Other times you just want to be left the hell alone. The simplest tasks seem impossible or just entirely too scary. You don’t get to belittle someone because you don’t get it. Get active and see how you can help. Sometimes just being there is enough. However, this idea that anxiety and depression aren’t real, needs to stop existing because they’re very much real. Mental illness is very much a real thing. Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, Marilyn Monroe, Don Cornelius, Phylis Hyman, and so many others. Everyone thought they “got better” or that they were “so happy”, because of their fame and money.
Mental Illness doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t matter your wealth or social status. Reach out, listen, and be understanding. We’re all fighting for a better tomorrow, and we can start by helping each other.
“And if you don’t believe that the sun will rise, stand alone and greet the coming night, in the last remaining light”
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
For texting, text Connect to 741741