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.