“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.” – J. Seifter
Throughout my entire life, I had to explain myself in every situation you can possibly think of- and the thing about our society is that you can’t be honest about something as shameful as a mental illness.
I felt as if whatever I was feeling, other people had it worse. So how dare I complain?
I grew up a prisoner in my own head, my depression and anxiety disorder took a hold of me. There was not a single thought that went through my head unfiltered.
Throughout the years, anxiety and depression disorder became a bit more publicly known causing the taboo to become less of a, well- taboo.
With this publicity came loads of pressure as well, because more and more people were “experts” on giving me the “best” advice on how to cope.
It is extremely annoying to hear this amaaaaazing advice on how to “just be happy”, because “being happy is not that hard”
(I apologise for all the air quotation marks. I just become really sarcastic when I think back of that time of my life.)
5 Years ago today I ran away from home, everybody kept on giving me advice that would surely help me- but nobody actually listened when I said that I had tried it all.
I was restless, helpless and so freaking terrified of my own mind.
I wanted to run away and commit suicide. It’s been 5 years, but today is the first time I can actually admit that that was what my goal was. But then I couldn’t. I ended up going home where everyone was angry and disappointed and l continued living in this hell hole that was my mind.
Years passed, I saw doctors, created scars both on the outside and inside, and grew this hate against myself that I just couldn’t shake.
After I had turned 18, I decided to quit school and go to a mental health facility.
It helped to look at my life objectively, and the crap-load of tests I had to go through did help other people to finally believe me when I said I was not ok.
After a while I left and moved house.
Ever since then I have been okay, not okay, okay, not okay, not okay, okay, not okay;
I just sort of made peace with it, and whenever someone would ask me how I was I would say I was great. The fact that I moved countries and didn’t have to look anyone in the eyes when I said that, helped.
After a while my boss noticed that I was absent more than my colleagues, so he took me aside and wanted me to talk to someone, so I did.
Whenever I need to explain what it’s like to have both anxiety and depression disorder at the same time I word it like this post I found on Tumblr:
“Having both depression and anxiety is staying in bed because you feel like you can’t go to work and then panicking because you do not want to get fired. It’s wanting to go see your friends so you don’t lose them all, then staying home in bed because you don’t want to make the effort. Having both is insanely hard and sucks to deal with.”
They said I needed to go see a GP, and they wanted me on medication, so I talked, and saw a GP, and took the medication that made me feel numb inside.
After all that, people started to ask: “Why aren’t you happy yet?”.
And I didn’t know what to reply, so they explained themselves.
“You’ve gotten help and medication, so why aren’t you happy?”
That got me thinking, that I should stop giving a flying f*ck about what those people said.
It took me quite a few CBT sessions, but I feel okay.
Today I feel better, I feel okay, I took the CBT sessions and the medication, I talked and talked and talked. In the end it was not the medication, but relying on myself that got me through the worst part.
I still have a really long way to go, but I am okay right now.
And I know, that if you are struggling with any mental disorder, you will be okay.
It might take a while, you will struggle a lot.
Life is going to be an absolute b*tch.
But you are strong enough to make it through.