Celeb Magazine

One Person's Glimpse of Mental Illness

By Red Hot News @buttrfly7740
You feel helpless.  You feel hopeless.  You're family truly wants to help, but doesn't know how.  You have no idea what to tell them, after all, you are the mentally ill one.  You have to concentrate on getting out of bed, taking a shower, and taking your medications.  When you're down, it isn't the blues; you might not shower for a week.  You feel alone and isolated even when you're surrounded by people; which you normally aren't.  Most people with mental illness have more than one diagnosis.  A lot of the people have chronic physical illnesses as well.  No one can understand the depth of despair that comes with mental illness.  What's worse is we are intelligent and we just cannot control what our minds say to us and make us do (or rather not do).
Even when things are great, when you're taking your medications, have a great job, and are making money, the self-sabotage creeps in.  The worst part of life is the self-talk and self-sabotage.  You work hard to make a career for yourself only to find that you're amazing and love what you do!  Hey most people can't even say that!  Then you scrape and claw you're way up the ladder and one day a brick wall hits you right in the face.  You cannot get out of bed.  My favorite saying(s) are to "shake it off" or "make yourself" get out of bed.  They give you that baseball pep talk about "walking it off".  I'm not talking about getting hit by a ground ball; I'm talking about getting flattened by a building like in the Wizard of Oz where your beautiful ruby slippers are just sticking out.
Not only does the self-talk and self-sabotage feel like you just got punched in the gut, but your family who is supposed to support you just can't understand. They are at a loss, they don't know what to do with you.  It's awkward and uncomfortable to even be around them.  They are awkward and uncomfortable to be around you.  Half try to act normal, the other half just think you failed again.  They don't know about the panic attacks in the bathroom every day, multiple times, at work.  Crying on the drive to and from work.  Over what?  That's the question they will ask if you try to explain.  You see they don't understand, nor can you explain, it's over nothing.  Nothing made me cry.  Nothing prompted those panic attacks that I can think of.  They just happen.  No matter how much you succeed at work and how great they think you are, it can actually last for years, the house always drops on you and ruins everything.
They increase your medication.  You go to therapy more often.  You go into more intensive therapy to stop the bad self-talk.  You take workshops, you write, you draw, you take photos.  Hobbies are great.  You cannot stay in the house, but at the same time, you cannot leave your bed.  Do you check yes on the disability form?  Do I have a disability?  You cry a lot, but still you need to get out and get a job knowing you'll sabotage yourself all over again.
Cover letters, resumes, interviews....did I act normal?  What is normal?  Did they know I'm a little "off"?  I feel like everyone knows anyway.  You didn't get the job.  Okay, keep trucking.  You start re-evaluating your life.  You know you love what you do, but your career is incredibly stressful, you have to be a perfectionist; there is no room for error.  The workload is the type where they pile it on until you break, and then pile on some more.  It's very corporate.  Underpaid and overworked, but isn't all of America?  Why am I different?  Why can't I handle the stress?
You question everything; yourself, others, how everyone see's you, why you care, etc.  You just wish you could be normal and get up every day and go to work like the rest of the world.  Why don't people understand that you have an illness?  It's not that you don't want to work, have no work ethic, have no feelings.  Your family turns it around on you with things like "well you never text me", "you never come and see me", and all of those sayings of the like.  Would you say that to a cancer patient?  We have a form of cancer eating us from the inside, you just cannot see it.  It affects our brain function and how we are.  It does make us physically sick.  You wouldn't blame the cancer patient.  You would go to them.  Engage them.  Understand that you have to make adjustments for the sick.
I have zero idea what cancer patients go through.  I am not trying to diminish their struggle in any way, shape, or form.  The thing is, when you say cancer, people understand.  People sympathize or empathize.  I don't know why people don't see mental illness as they see cancer, they see it more like a broken leg.  It is not a broken leg.  Mental illness is something battled every single day behind the scenes.  We show you our best face we have.  Broken leg's heal.  A person with debilitating mental illness is so hollow and isolated.  Just because it goes "in remission" for a month, a year, a few years, doesn't mean that dark tornado won't drop a house on you when you're doing amazing in your life.  Even when you have your stuff together, especially when you have your stuff together, that is the most important time to watch out for those self-sabotaging flying monkeys.

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