Ok, so this is really a tough subject to talk about, but I think we should. I have noticed that it has been a topic of conversation on TV recently and a positive light has not been shown on the subject, in fact, quite the contrary. Do people really think it is a bad thing to have a mental illness and that it somehow makes a person incapable of being good at their job and can’t have good relationships? I absolutely do not think this illness is a bad thing, I suffer from it and I am a capable and functioning person.
Maybe they think this way because there is such a lack of understanding when it comes to mental illness. This misunderstanding is widespread and I tend to get pissed off when someone who is not familiar with this subject says something insulting about it and it hurts.
Mental illness is an ILLNESS
There are so many negative and derogatory things being said about people who have a mental illness like it’s a bad decision they made to have it. Like it’s a fucking choice. IT’S NOT! There are even some assholes out there who use it as an insult when they disagree with someone’s opinion or decisions, by saying that “they must be mental”
This just goes to show how very little people actually know about this illness and what it is like to live with it every day. This kind of “judgment” keeps good people who struggle with it from seeking help and adds to the confusion and makes us feel embarrassed and ashamed to acknowledge we suffer from a mental illness.
A little compassion goes a long way
Compassion is hard to find in general these days and as for mental illness, it seems non-existent. Understanding and acceptance is something that we who have this illness, pray for.
If they could just understand…
How it feels to be so sad and unable to explain why.
Our thoughts hurt more than reality.
Monsters live in our head, not under our bed.
That I want you to know, but I can’t tell you.
Depression feels like, not caring about anything.
Anxiety is like, feeling everything all at once.
A beautiful smile is all you need to hide how broken you are.
Every day is a struggle for me, even when I am at my best.
I fear to lay awake at night, worrying about shit I can’t control.
I am always exhausted from fighting the battles in my head.
I can feel people forgetting me.
I think that maybe one day I won’t wake and then I’ll be happy.
It is hard to stay strong when all you feel is weak.
It seems I am always trying my best not to act how I feel.
I suffer from depression, that doesn’t mean I’m never happy.
Depression is having it all and still feeling sad all the time.
I’m still alive so I don’t pass the pain on to someone I love.
These are some of the thoughts that we have when living with depression and anxiety which is a mental illness, the word overwhelming is an understatement.
It is honestly too hard to describe
We feel so much and yet we are unable to express our feelings out loud or we just feel that if we did try to explain our feelings, no one would give a shit. It seems like I am speaking a foreign language that most people just don’t understand and don’t want to learn.
Why we don’t tell you how we feel
Because we are too afraid that we will see and hear your disappointment. We feel it within ourselves, so why should you have to feel our pain as well.
We will sacrifice our feelings for yours in a heartbeat. Why? Because we can’t risk opening up and trusting someone with our inner-most fears and pain. The thought of your disappointment, rejection or betrayal is unbearable. You may have promised to stay, but what if you don’t. Trust equals pain, avoid pain at any cost. You’d be better off to rip it from my soul.
It’s not your fault
People always think they will get answers by asking us “what’s wrong”? Do you really want to know or are you just being polite? I often wonder if they would still want to know if they knew what I was actually thinking, which is….don’t ask that question because you should fear the answer. So, I smile and lie, I’m fine 🙂
You can’t fix me, so stop trying to
I know you think you can fix me, but you can’t and I’m sorry. I wish you could. Just concede.
I definitely do not want to hear…
Why don’t you just get over it?
Stop crying about nothing.
You are just overreacting again.
What’s the big deal?
You just need to think positive.
There’s always tomorrow.
Are you ok, why are you crying?
You know this is all in your head.
Why don’t you just ________?
Why don’t I just, what? Oh, you mean magically be happy and carefree? Shit, why didn’t I think of that? I’ll do that then, sounds like a piece of cake.
Ha! That’s funny and typical.
You can love us unconditionally
Love, support, and compassion are all we need from those who love us, but it has to be genuine and unconditional, we can tell the difference. Remember, we feel things differently, and we certainly know how to fake it, so don’t even try it.
It’s contrary I know, we fake happy sometimes but we don’t want you too. You say to us “that’s funny, what the hell is wrong with you?” We have an illness and trust me we don’t want to “think” this way but that’s what we do.
What we do want to hear…
Nothing, I want to feel it.
When I say I’m fine, you hear… I’m hurting.
I will give you space, but I won’t forget you.
It’s ok to have feelings, whatever they might be today.
You’re not lazy, you’re overcome with worry.
Depression is an illness, not a choice.
Don’t take it personally when I don’t want to go anywhere.
Don’t try to fix me, love me the way I am.
Ask, what happened to me, not what’s wrong with me.
It’s never too late to stop being afraid.
You’ll shine a light in the dark so we can see where you are.
How do we change how people view mental illness
So, what do we say to change all of the misconceptions about having a mental illness? How do we make people understand that we did not choose this, just as those who have diabetes or asthma didn’t choose to suffer from their illnesses?
I mean, who would choose an illness that some people use as an insult to describe someone who is “crazy” or “thinks differently”. I have heard it myself, it goes something like, “that chick is totally mental, stay away from her”
It’s really hurting us
When you hear someone say that since you have a mental illness you are unable to have a great job or to be a good parent or a wonderful spouse. That’s bullshit in most cases.
Many people (like me) who have a mental illness can live happy lives with treatment and support. It is when we let other’s opinions of mental illness, affect our choice to tell someone about it, to seek help.
It makes my heart ache (I can literally feel it, can you?) because I have been on the receiving end of that ill-informed person’s harsh comments to me and often times it’s behind my back which really sucks!
Always try to remember
I have indeed learned to live with depression and anxiety, it’s hard sometimes and it is a battle fought every day by so many of us and I really do try to be nice to everyone because after all, this is an illness that I have gone to great lengths to hide from the world.
I am truly a fucking pro at it. So, that being said, I can’t assume that the person standing in front of me isn’t a master of disguise like me. I think of this phrase a lot and it helps me remember things aren’t always what the seem.
“sometimes we don’t do the things we want to do, so others won’t know we want to do them”
Well, maybe it’s not exactly like that but you get the idea, right?
Do you feel like me
I put myself together every morning, just to fall apart every night. It’s a horrible feeling isn’t it, to feel like that. When you finally fall asleep and then your eyes pop open in the morning and you realize you must start over again, but some days it is so worth it and that’s the payoff. To feel that wonderful feeling of joy and you thank god that today was so worth it. That is what being brave is all about.
Mental illness = Bravery
There are many ways to survive in this hush-hush world of mental illness but we must speak up about it so that others who don’t understand this illness will learn more about it. So that we no longer have to be afraid of who we are and instead embrace that we are unique and we matter.
Thanks for reading my rant, I am not a doctor and these are just my opinions. I hope we will find a cure for this illness but until then I am here to speak up, and yes I am freaking out that I am going to post this for everyone to read and judge me for it.
I am a “chicken shit” that is trying her best to be brave.
Please be brave with me and find it in your wonderful heart to help someone.
If you would like to read more of my take on mental illness you can read
The Epic Battle – Living with Depression and Anxiety – How it Really Feels
Is there a magic pill for depression and anxiety? No! Why the hell not?