I will not fall off the deep end.
I will not let this break up define me.
I am not worthless, weak or unlovable because he cheated.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pop a Xanax during the day. Almost exclusively it’s a conduit to a good night sleep when my mind is running a race I can’t keep up with. Now I’d like to sleep all day and night.
The thing is, for once in my life I had felt safe. Now everything is sinister and nothing seems familiar.
I’ll be trying to write more. Hell, I’ve got nothing else to do.
Yesterday I was twenty two and I quit my job, turned down a beer I desperately wanted and got myself off anti-depressants.
Today I am twenty three, let’s see what this year holds for me.
The push to be open about our mental illness has become a rather prominent topic on blogs these days. I read a post the other day where a fellow sufferer said she told every one she met she had mental illness, usually within the first few minutes of meeting them. I’m all for pride, truly I am, but mental illness is not some parlor trick you pull out at a party. I don’t hide my mental illness and I am damn sure not ashamed of it, but I don’t go screaming it from rooftops either. I will not go around telling every person who will listen that I am emotionally unstable. I don’t go up to people at parties and reveal that I need to check my bed three times on each side before I sleep or else I will die. When I choose to tell people I am mentally ill it is because I am comfortable with them, it is because I want them to see I am just like they are. I don’t wish to be defined by my mental illness and I am not ashamed of it either. There is a balance to be achieved here. When people find out I am mentally ill I want them to see me for the strong and capable person I am. My scars are not conversation starters, they are silent reminders of my survival. My depression shouldn’t gain me pity, it should show how strong I am for getting up each morning and facing another day.
weak·ness noun \-nəs\
: a quality or feature that prevents someone or something from being effective or useful.
I’m not fucking weak.
It’s only recently that I’ve been able to carefully type out the words mentally ill in relation to myself.
Sure, I can write about, talk about, educate about it, but all for scientific purposes. When it comes to myself? I haven’t uttered the words. To let them slip past my tongue only to hang in there as they are processed and stigma sets in. They become stale there, hanging in front of my face. You get the sympathetic pitying glances or the well meant declaration of, “Yeah, I’m sad a lot too”.
I tend to use my diagnoses to hide behind. When you give them something they don’t fully understand they can brush it off. Generalized anxiety disorder? I think I’ve heard of that. Borderline personality disorder, there’s a pill for that right? But when you label yourself as mentally ill there isn’t a person alive who couldn’t conjure up images of drooling patients shuffling along a psych ward somewhere hidden away. They no longer shackle us psychically, believing we’re possessed by the devil for our strange thoughts. They shackle us emotionally, they shackle us socially.