Mental illness sucks. That’s the simplest way to put it, no matter what aspect you deal with I can pretty much guarantee that you wouldn’t wish it upon your worst enemy. Now, I can’t talk about all mental illnesses, but I know first-hand that depression (and some aspects of anxiety) are awful. I don’t know for sure how long I’ve been dealing with it, probably longer than I thought I had. But either way it’s there.
This article is focused on my personal experience of having a mental illness. Everyone is different and everyone deals with things in different ways, you’re completely entitled to that but I hope that in some way, this post helps you.
There is still such a stigma around mental illness. Unfortunately, they’re becoming more and more common amongst all ages; this means there is a lot more help available but it also means more people have to deal with them. One of the worst things is that depression especially can be hard to explain.
Some symptoms can be so similar to everyday emotions that to people who aren’t aware of what you’re going through, it could just be passed off as a ‘bad day’. Which isn’t wrong, I mean I do have ‘bad days’, but they’re completely different to that too. When I’m personally not having a good day, it’s like there’s this weight pressing down on me. The weight presses down on my mood and myself so far that no matter how hard I try to lift it, nothing works. All I do is I wait for it to hopefully lift because it takes so much strength to do it myself, but it’s so heavy. I want to move it, and I try but sometimes it won’t no matter how hard I try.
I find it hard to talk about, even when I went to the doctor’s it was much harder than I thought it would be. I know this can be quite common and it’s something I’m working on, hence this article. Talking can help, you don’t need to hide away. It’s happening and hiding won’t change that. I get scared and worried when talking about it, but I’m trying my best to change that and I hope that you do too. Find strength within yourself, because you’re probably stronger than you think.
It was scary to confirm that what I had was depression, I don’t know why but it did shake me up a bit. However, living in fear of it is no good either. My other half told me when I was worrying that it was better to name it and then try my best to deal with it, than to always live in fear of what it could be. He was entirely right. It’s scary to have things such as mental health issues diagnosed but if you know what it is then you have the beginning of the means to fight it. Living in fear is never good and living in fear of your own mind is terrifying. It doesn’t have to be that way always, the light at the end of the tunnel is there, just picture naming it as the first step on the train towards the light.
I can’t say I’m doing good at the moment, but I’m trying. I’m trying everyday and I’m not giving up no matter how much I want to. When I want to stay in bed all day because I don’t want to face the world, I try my best to get out and do something. Even if that doing something is just getting dressed. In truth, most of my days recently are bad days, or are at least tinged with some bad. But I’m trying, that dark cloud is definitely still above me and I am living in its darkness. I will never stop trying to get into the light again.
Mental illness doesn’t define me or anyone else suffering from one. It’s awful, it’s tough and it’s definitely not a walk in the park or something to be ignored. But it isn’t who you are and it isn’t who you’re going to be for the rest of your life. I’m still learning to deal with it and yes I can’t say I’m good at the moment but I know I’m going to fight till the very moment where I beat it.
For all the people who have depression, I hope that hearing someone else’s story helps you, and reminds you that you are not alone. Your mind can make you feel so lonely, like no one understands or that you don’t want to talk to people out of fear of burdening them or worrying them. But you’re never alone. They might not be with you but there are so many people going through their own battles that yes, are different to yours, but also similar in ways that prove that you’re not alone in your own battle.
If you know someone with depression and you’re trying to help them but they don’t seem to be cheering up, or don’t seem any better, please don’t give up on them. I promise you it is working in some way, it just might not be entirely obvious. My friends and family give me so much support and it does work, although it might take a while. I might not be ‘cured’ or jumping around with happiness, but that doesn’t mean your support has gone unnoticed. If you’re there for the person, that’s all they’ll really need, just to know that even in their most insecure moments when they’re worried that their mind will push everyone they love away, that no matter what, you’ll stay.
For anyone with other mental illnesses this goes out to you too. Mental illnesses are so different but no matter who you are, you are never alone no matter how hard it gets.
Stay strong and never give up fighting.