Yes, I have a mental illness. It bugs me that not many people understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness. This does not mean that I want people to have a mental illness, but I just want people to do their research. I want people to stop judging people because of their mental illness. Yes, it is part of them. No, it’s not all they are. But yes, it is always there. I am sorry if that’s inconvenient for you, but I swear it’s more inconvenient for them.
Imagine having your worst enemy at your side every single second of every single day; screaming insults at you and telling you you’re not good enough and that you’ll never be good enough. Yeah… that’s how it feels for me every day. Sometimes I’m able to stick up for myself, but sometimes I can’t.
There are thousands of voices screaming negative things inside my head and I have only one voice to try to shut them up. Imagine how exhausting that must be. But hey, I am still here. So my voice is still winning. I won’t go down easily.
People often seem to think I’m not even trying. ‘How come you still don’t have that internship?’’ ‘’You don’t even go to school.’’ ‘’Did you really just spend a whole week in bed? Wish I could do that… You’re so lazy.’’ ‘’You still haven’t gone to the gym? Ha! You’ll probably never go.’’
When people say those things the thousand voices in my head go like: ‘Yeahh exactly, you suck. They hate you. You are such a failure. See? You can’t do anything. You might as well stop trying, you can’t do anything. You let everyone down.’’ While my own voice goes: ‘’But I am trying, it’s just so hard. I haven’t succeeded yet, but I am trying. I am doing everything I can. That should be enough.’’
That’s the first thing I want people to understand: I am trying. Some things are harder for me, but I am doing all that I can. I know that it might be hard to understand, because the things that are hard for me may be easy for others… It’s just like school: some kids are crazy good in math and others need to work 5 times as hard to understand it. But they are trying and doing everything they can. So there is no reason to get mad at them or be disappointed in them. They’re doing their best and that’s all they can do.
Another thing I want people to understand is that people with a mental illness aren’t overreacting. There are certain things that trigger me and can make me cry hysterically (which I find very annoying myself.) Those things may not seem like a big deal to someone else, but for me they are. Sometimes it brings me back to horrible things that have happened and sometimes it triggers those voices in my head to go on overdrive. When that happens, I have no idea what’s going on. It’s like the voices in my brain go in overdrive, but my brain can’t handle so much work, so they shut down entirely. I can’t rationalize anything, I can’t process anything anyone says to me. I just shut down.
I know people don’t understand what the hell is going on with me and why it can happen over the smallest things in their eye. But I wish they knew there is a reason behind every emotion, so there is also a reason behind that. I wish people wouldn’t immediately think I’m crazy, but would understand that it does have a reason.
Whenever I tell people about my mental illness they are understanding at first. But when they realize the illness lasts more than 2 weeks or a month…. They start getting impatient. ‘’Why can’t you just be normal?’’ ‘’Stop overreacting’’ ‘’You’re just doing it for attention.’’ ‘’Shouldn’t you be over it by now?’’
No. I’ll probably never be ‘normal’, sadly. I will always have this war inside my head and it has been there for as long as I can remember. Trust me, I’m not looking for special treatment , but it would be nice to be taken care of once in a while. Life is not easy and yes, sometimes you need other people. And that’s okay? Talking about your troubles doesn’t have to mean begging for attention. I am so tired of people saying mental illnesses are just an excuse to get attention. The reason why I have so much trouble asking for help is because I’m afraid people will not believe me. That they will label me an attention seeker. But seriously… a mental illness is not something people make up to get attention. And It’s not the worst thing to need attention. Everyone needs attention once in a while: someone to listen to them, someone to make them feel better. It’s totally normal and totally okay. So stop using the word attention seeker when talking about mental illness, because that term does more damage than good.
I know people without a mental illness will never fully understand what it’s like living with one: and that is totally okay. All I’m asking for is that you try to understand, to be patient and to not judge. Living with a mental illness can make you feel isolated, lonely and misunderstood at times. Don’t add to those feelings by being afraid to talk about it: ask questions if you don’t understand something. Talk. But don’t judge and just assume things. Life is hard enough already, so lets try to make it easier for each other. ❤
I am always here if you want to talk! x