You don't know what I'm going through

Ever since I started talking about my depression and anxiety I’ve had people saying they can relate. I like that, I like that I am not alone and that they aren’t alone either. What I don’t like is that everyone seems to think they know exactly how I’m feeling, what I’m going through and when it’s going to end. Here’s a newsflash: you don’t know what I’m going through. I’d be concerned if you did because I don’t even understand what I’m going through myself. Below are the thoughts of someone who is ill and so badly wants to get better.

Mental health is like a broken leg in the sense that it needs care and time to heal, but it isn’t the same in the sense that everyone who has it gets treated in the same way. Some people deal with their mental health problems by taking medication, others avoid it and go to talk therapy, some people even self medicate. I’ve done all 3 in the course of my lifetime and let me tell you they’ve all had negative effects on me and they’ve all had positive effects on me, but none of them are a magical cure.

One day I might seem absolutely fine, I’ll laugh with you, smile at you on the street and be my pleasant self. What you don’t see behind all of that are the thoughts going on in my head in those moments. The feelings of worthlessness, fear and dread that fill my body from head to toe never ceasing. You don’t see the mornings where I cry as my boyfriend has to get me dressed because I just can’t do it any more. You don’t see the nights where I have to shower for half an hour in order to stop myself from doing something stupid like hurting myself. You don’t see the panic attacks I get when leaving my flat, if I even can.

You might think I am getting better. I’m not. I want to get better, but I’m not. Or at least I don’t see any signs of feeling like a human again. I want to get through a whole day with out the incessant thoughts of inadequacy. I want to live again, be sociable, go out for evening walks, get excited for events. I want to be human. I want to breath again with out feeling the pain of living.

This might sound like something that lives in a personal diary, but I feel like it needed to be said. Everyone thinks they know how I am operating and think they know how I should be feeling, but that isn’t the case. If I could control any of this illness I would be doing it. I am not well. I haven’t been for some time. That isn’t going to change at the drop of a hat.

I want to breath again with out feeling the pain of living. If I can get to that stage in the next few months then I will be so grateful for all the help and support given to me, but part of that support is knowing and accepting that you don’t fully understand what I’m going through. Because how could you when I don’t?

I am only posting this because I am proud of my writing and want to share my entire experience with you. I don’t want to be the person sugar coating their illness and I promise I will never be that person. I’m not being brave. I’m not having a go at anyone. I’m merely sharing my thoughts and feelings at this point of my illness. I’m not a good conversationalist, although I seem like one, I struggle finding the correct words so writing is my way of keeping everyone in the loop.

Have you ever suffered with a mental illness? Which one? How did it affect you? Please share your stories below.

Are you going through something similar? It can be hard to get out of your house if this is the case, to see friends, family, doctors or even psychologists. With this in mind have you ever considered talking to an online psychologist? It’s a great way to talk to someone in the comfort of your own home.

If you’d like to hear more about the benefits of talking to an online psychologist you can find out everything you need to know at BetterHelp.

 
*Some of the links in this post may be sponsored.

Author: Jodie Paterson

I'm Jodie Paterson, a 23 year old Edinburgh based blogger! Born and raised in Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire, I quickly grew a passion for writing, photography and many other creative ventures due to the beautiful Scottish landscapes that surrounded me, and I'm now 5 years in to my blogging journey and still absolutely loving it!

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  • Hi Jodie , this was interesting read and I really like how you write. I love the fact you highlighted that sometimes you are happy and everyone experience of depression is different. I think this is because some triggers / causes vary. I am glad you have the support of your boyfriend and I will follow x

  • Jodie, thank you for sharing this. I have dealt with anxiety and depression. It’s hard to describe how this has affected me. Essentially I feel my whole life has been on mute because I have continued to blame myself any time I wasn’t “happy” as if I didn’t choose the right memories from childhood to remember, as if I didn’t focus enough on the “positive” aspects of life, as if I didn’t have any right to be angry, sad, or have an opinion. My life until a few years ago has felt like an empty snail shell: pretty on the outside, but no life on the inside. One thing that struck me about your post is when you said that people may relate, but they don’t know exactly what it’s like for you. I have found something similar to be true. Even among supportive people, they take over the conversation and “explained” to me what I’m going through because they think they can relate to it. They tend to want to solve my problem for me instead of just letting my life be my life. It makes me feel even more messed up because their solutions don’t work. My current therapist has been a *miracle* for me. She listens and honors my feelings and asks me to sit in my emotions instead of trying to run off into my thinking to find a fix. It’s been helpful for me to see that ALL of my emotions are okay and I am capable of feeling them *and* eventually come up with a natural and true-to-me response for them. Thanks again for sharing your post!

  • Thank you Jodie, I appreciate your sharing with me your experiences of depression. I have a friend who needs space and I don’t understand what’s wrong. She keeps saying I don’t know what she’s going through. I’m trying to understand why she has cut me out of her life. I’m trying to understand what she is going through. This article gives me some insight maybe she’s suffering from depression. I know I have in the past suffered greatly from depression too. I find myself grieving right now because I feel I lost my friend. I want to have compassion and understanding and have patience. I wish she would open up to me. Reading this let’s me see something maybe she couldn’t tell me. Depression is often judged by others in a negative way. Nobody likes a sad person so we are told. We often go into hiding pushing everyone away we love. I appreciate reading this because I want to be the friend she needs me to be right now. My experience with depression in the past feeling worthless, hopeless and loneliness. What helps me today is my faith in God. I read daily devotional everyday. Uplifting, encouraging and inspiring books and even music helps a lot. I make it a point not to deattach from my friends and family. I plan events to keep myself busy in positive ways. Volunteering being surrounded by others helps myself to focus on the good in life. Yes I still battle but forcing myself to connect with others really helps me. We that encouragement. Depression can takes one life from you. I lost a friend who killed himself. When I was teenager I made a few a tempts. Now that I have a great support system that never crosses my mind. I hope your depression will get better with time. Praying for you! Thank you for sharing your story! God bless 💞

    • I’m so happy I managed to touch you this way. This is why I continue writing and sharing my journey, because people connect and relate to it.

      • We all want to be understood and not be be judged. We all need connections with other human beings. No greater feeling is to relate to one’s life. We all have a story to tell, which I appreciate your bravery! Wishing you a Happy joyful, New Year!! Thanks again 🤗