Dear Mental Illness,
You’ve been in my head for so long, that we are basically old acquaintances. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep. You’re there. In the back of my mind. Blurring my vision and dictating my choices.
You’re like quicksand, surrounding me as I try my best to walk. You grab me and pull me in. I can’t think or do anything, without you making me sink down, further and further, until I can no longer breathe.
Depression. You’re an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. You make it impossible to get out of bed or do anything ‘normal people’ do. You make me cry, to the point where I struggle for breath, over stupidly pointless things. It’s like I’m trying my best to stay afloat in water, but I have a million bricks tied to my feet.
Anxiety. You live in my head, 24/7. You make me over think every little detail, about every little task. When I wake up in the morning, I stress about everything, because of you. I obsess about things that ‘normal people’ don’t even think of. Anything and everything can become a ‘trigger’. Any stupid, little thing can lead to an anxiety attack. I live my life in a minefield. Constantly terrified of stepping in the wrong place and therefore having to deal with the aftermath.
I can’t go outside. People will see me. They will judge me. If I manage to get outside, what if my car doesn’t start? What if it breaks down? There might be road works or diversions on my way to uni. What if I can’t find a parking space? What if I’m late and have to walk into a full lecture? I can’t ask or answer a question. I can’t answer that phone call. I can’t go on university field trips. I can’t email my lecturers to explain why. I can’t go to a doctor, to get the help I need. What if the doctor thinks I am stupid? What if he can’t help me?
Anxiety and depression. Together, you ruin every single part of my life.
I hate you because you break me. I hate you because people don’t understand. To them, I look pathetic. A lot of ‘normal people’ don’t understand how it feels. I don’t blame them. Even to me, it seems ridiculous.
But I am not you. I am not depression or anxiety. You are. You’re a mental illness and you do not define me. I will continue to speak about you, no matter how hard that may be. I will speak of you until everyone understands what you really are. Until I’m over you and even after that.
You’re my mental illness. But you do not define me.
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