I think it’s time for me to change the subject for a post or two. This week has been a very challenging week for me. Now, I don’t know who will end up reading this, if anyone. I will make this clear, this is not a cry for help. This is me expressing myself the best way I know how, in writing. I am going to open my brain and my heart to the world and hope that it can help at least one person when they read, think, or talk about it.
It’s the main topic in the news this week: mental illness. It’s a very dark and scary subject for many, myself included. It’s time to start talking and quit hiding. I’ve always had some form of anxiety in my life, even in my family history. Ever since I was a kid I was terrified of other people. You couldn’t get me to stay overnight anywhere until I was maybe, six. I remember I would get filled with anxiety so much until I was physically ill. (I want to thank my first friend who made me feel comfortable enough, thank you Gentri).
I never understood why I felt so different from everyone else. I guess you could call me an introvert, a loner, or on a more positive note, independent. Sometimes I feel lonelier than ever but cherish my alone time. It’s a daily struggle to get so excited to go do something with a friend and then it comes down to leaving, it’s a battle in my head. Do I go and try to enjoy myself? Should I stay home? What if I have an attack? What if I get upset or angry? I never know how I’m going to feel.
I’m asking those of you who have a strong opposition on depression, anxiety, even suicide to rethink how you feel and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It’s damn near impossible to feel the empathy for someone with depression or any other mental illness unless you’ve been down the same path. You wouldn’t blame someone for being diagnosed with cancer, so why is a chemical imbalance in the brain any different? Sure, they could take medication, have you seen the warnings on antidepressants? “May cause suicidal tendencies.” Not everyone’s brain works the same way. Sure, they could talk to a therapist, psychologist, family member, but continuing time after time they feel like a burden, they get tired of living this day after day. Try to understand this, please.
I can remember my own personal experience as a high school freshman. I was dating my first, serious boyfriend. Time after time I had reports of unfaithfulness, I was stressed to the point of having passing out episodes, and being 105 pounds the rumors started flying about me having an eating disorder (not one, but both bulimia and anorexia). I have never felt so low in my life. Yes, I was very young. Why didn’t I just leave? Of course I wanted to, but then I would be losing my best friend, and my first love. I was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed Prozac. I took it for probably a maximum of four months and then I quit it cold turkey (not recommended). I hated how I felt so lost, I couldn’t cry, I wasn’t happy. I was emotionally numb.
Fast forward a couple more years and you have a somewhat healthier version of me. I got into another relationship where I was sneaking around, it was a secret for a little bit anyways. Then in my first year of college it was out in the open and I was fine, or so I thought. New school, new attitude, new me. I began my year by living with my best friend (love you Erka). I mention her because she had to witness parts of the emotional abuse I went through. God, I believed every bit of it and wished I would have walked away sooner. Then again, I wouldn’t be where I am today. After a year of dating we split and didn’t talk for a year. We reconciled that following year where yet another life changing event happened. More for him, it was goodbye for me. Needless to say, it took a good, solid three years to heal myself. In that time I self medicated with alcohol, hating men, and lots of emotional downfalls.
I will let you in on a few things I am so frustrated with:
1) I’m tired of being treated like an object. I’m not a toy. I have feelings and deep ones at that. How can one treat another human being in this manner?
2) I’m tired of being treated differently if I choose not to drink or want to go to certain events. Please understand I am sick. Drinking makes me worse and before you know it, you’re watching me crash and burn.
3) I’m tired of biting off more than I can chew, but I do it because I have an addictive attitude.
4) I’m tired of having an angry brain. It causes most of the stress. I’m tired of being upset with every little thing. Lately it’s been uncontrollable. I get so angry, I want to cry, I want to scream, I want to throw something. Instead I bottle it up.
5) I’m tired of having a brain that won’t shut off. It won’t stop obsessively thinking about something until I finish it.
6) And most of all, I’m tired of being disappointed in myself for making small mistakes. I’m a human, we all make mistakes, but I can’t live them down.
Believe it or not, I’ve made progress. I’m still fighting everything every single day. Some days are better than the other. Some days I can’t function like a normal person, but I can sure fake it.
I hope I didn’t make anyone concerned as I am fine. I have some outlets to vent to. I just hope I made you think a little bit harder about how you talk to or treat someone. I will leave you with an absolutely cliche saying but I’m behind it 100%, “Treat everyone how you would like to be treated, you never know what battle they are fighting.”
I want to thank my dad and my mom for being my rocks. They show me the meaning of unconditional love every day.
And now I have to find the courage to post this entry.