Hello! This was originally posted on my first personal blog, now I’m editing some of it and posting it here, because this topic is always important and my thoughts still stand.
(First Disclaimer: Talk throughout this post may be extremely triggering. Please keep this in mind as this post is only meant to be me sharing my story and to spread awareness.)
Yes- I want to talk about the thing that no one wants to talk about. Mental health is always a taboo subject because there are still people that believe it’s made up or used to get attention. Some people believe that just because it’s a feeling and you can’t see it that it must be the fault of the person who has it. It’s so unbelievable that someone could simply be hurting so badly inside that they are so physically incapable of living. When you have depression, on a bad day it literally feels like your body is internally rejecting you- like a migraine of the heart. Everything feels different on a bad day. Living is just harder. And people still think it’s made up as an attention seeking thing.
You don’t tell someone with cancer that it’s all in their head.
You don’t tell someone with a tumor to just try and be happier.
You don’t tell someone with MS that they are faking it.
Then why say it to someone with a mental illness. It is still an illness.
(Second Disclaimer: No I’m not trying to say my life is worse then anyone else’s or trying to take the focus away from more important issues. I am simply trying to spread awareness that depression and mental illness effect a multitude of different people. I am sharing my story in the hopes that it helps someone else out there struggling, not for any personal gain.)
For my entire life I have been extremely critical of myself, or at least that’s what my mom says.I am most own worst critic in every single way, pushing myself to achieve impossible goals that my parents never set. I would internally beat myself up when I failed at things, when all my parents wanted was for me to try. They were proud of my for everything, but I knew I could be so much better. They became aware of my thoughts towards myself very early on as well, and tried to reassure me that they were proud of my no matter what. And to to this day I will never be okay with that. I was bullied in elementary school because older kids thought I was weird. Middle school was a great couple years, in fact they were some of the best of my life. I found out I was moving before high school, I was leaving all my friends and starting over in a new place. Though I had great friends thanks to my best friend (and Aunt) Casey, something was missing. I have blocked out a lot of my feelings from that time, but high school was rough. I got bullied my freshman year.This was the year I started to self-harm.
Looking back I knew I had a problem, but didn’t know just how bad it was. Depression was something I didn’t even realize I had. In my mind the only problem I had was the self harm but I knew I couldn’t stop. It was weird, looking back on it that I didn’t know I had depression. I cried (a lot), I had low self-esteem and did not have the most healthy or best relationships with others. A lot of things happened that year. Junior year was a lot of the same. Scars were piling up and soon I wasn’t going to be able to explain them all. I had numerous fall outs with friends and I soon began to realize that relationships with people were becoming progressively harder and harder to maintain.
The end of my junior year I became sick of it. My constant pain was getting was too much to bare so I broke down to my mom and made her take me to my doctor, who is trained to notice things like 40+ scars on your arms. She told my mother and we booked me an emergency appointment with a therapist and psychiatrist to get evaluated. t was a rough road trying to figure out why I did what I did. I tried for months and with lots of medication to fix all that was broken. But it is so unbelievably hard to fix the things you can’t see. I couldn’t thank my best friends and family enough for sticking by me through all that. My guy friends had just become my besties a month earlier and were still so kind in their own way. Without them I don’t know where I would be right now and for that I love them so much.
College helped me spread and share some of my story and just ultimately I thank my amazing sisters for that. They supported me as I succeeded and failed and loved me for one of my quirks. My self esteem is still low and I doubt myself all the time. School has stressed to the breaking point and beyond (to the point of me having an legitimate panic attack in the middle of an exam) but I know I have my sisters there to make me feel better and family and besties who are just a call away. It’s a strange feeling. My depression still takes a hold me and won’t let me out at times. There are times that I’m having a conversation with someone and my emotions take over and I just say things that I don’t know what I’m saying. I cross lines and my brain gets jumbled and I can’t tell when I’m being hurtful. In my head I tend to not listen to a filter system and it gets even worse when my depression is in full swing. I push people away unintentionally. And the physical pain is bad. I feel sick, when I have my bad days. Like I said earlier it feels like a migraine of the heart. There’s pressure throughout my whole body and my skin feels like pins and needles. All I want to do is sleep and not be bothered for days. Those are my bad days, and not every day is a bad day.
But why am I sharing my story with everyone? I’m here to say that it does get better. I haven’t self-harmed in almost 3 years. Depression is something I will always deal with for the rest of my life. It’s something I will always have to treat. But I’m living life the best I can and will continue to live it in a way that makes me happy. Every day is different and some are better than others. I still have bad days, but it’s the good days I live for. Think positive when you can, it really turns my day around when people tell me I make them happy or thanking me for just being around. I try to mend burned bridges, I try to be everyone’s friend. I want to be a reliable, great person. My goal in life since working on bettering myself has been to try and better the lives of everyone around me by trying to live as positively as I can. I’m also tired of the stigmas associated with those with mental health issues. Your life is worth so much and some people don’t understand that sometimes the worse health issues are the ones you can’t see. People should be able to discuss how they feel without being scrutinized for it at all. Even on my rough days I’m glad that I can help people by sharing my own story. I think that a part of me healed when I began to share my story with others. I try to spread the love everyday because when others shared love with me it was all I could have ever asked for and more.
So my final message is just to find those who support you and surround yourself with love.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;
Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own,
Is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity,
but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8