I know you are thinking, really Michelle? I couldn’t tell that from the twenty billion blogs you post about death, lost love, and forgiveness. Like seriously, I had no idea you were like sick.

 

But enough jokes.

 

This is the big fact I have been avoiding for years. My whole life, if I am being honest. I have an illness. I used to think it would just go away with time. As if I could somehow grow out of it. Besides, there is such a big stigma having a mental illness, I didn’t want to be lumped like that. Most people think you are just kidding or you are just looking for attention.

 

The truth is, mental illness is just as life threatening and damaging as cancer. If it goes untreated, it will kill you just like any other disease. Also, it can never be truly cured, but it can be managed.

 

I have been fighting this for so long because I was taught I had to be better then a disease. Yet, when I had cancer, it was all let’s just cut it out and then you’re good to go. Mental illness can’t be cut out so easily. Also, it is so hard for people to understand it.

 

I think it comes from just being afraid of it. People with mental illness look normal. We don’t have purple blood that spurts out of our ears or cuts that a disease put on our bodies (not unless you want to make the argument that cutters have a mental illness and that’s why they cut…but you know what I mean. It isn’t like you can pinpoint the injury as easily as if it were a car crash and you can find the point of impact.) We are so good at hiding our illness as well. We pretend everything is great. We smile and laugh a lot. Anything you need, we are your go to person. If you are sad, we will sit up with you all night stroking your hair until for fall asleep. We are your best friends. However, we have a deep secret that only another mentally ill person can see.

 

We are so avoiding what is happening in our brains by putting you first. We are so loyal because that way, we don’t have to deal with our own thoughts. We are so loving because we know what it feels like to not feel loved and we wouldn’t dream of doing that to someone else. We don’t want to deal with ourselves, so we will do everything we can to avoid our own minds.

 

But then what happens when it all catches up to us?

 

We crash and burn and people freak. We can no longer be your support system and you get mad at us. We had a deal and now we are breaking that deal. We were supposed to fill this one section of your life and when we can’t, you get mad.

 

Then we ask you to help us and you have no idea what to do. We were the ones with all the unconditionally open arms and great advice. You don’t know what to say to us because you don’t want to set us off.

 

You are uncomfortable around us. Just like if we had a gapping hole in our heads, you wouldn’t know what to do or where to look.

 

But here is the thing…because of all those years of taking care of everyone; we know what we need to do. If we say we can’t see a movie that day or we don’t feel like going to the mall…you need to accept that we know what we are doing for ourselves.

 

I am making a generalization when I shouldn’t be doing that. I can only speak for my own mental illness. I have major depression. That is my label. At times I can handle it and I can push myself up. But sometimes, like right now, I can’t and I need help.

 

Trust and believe I will get the help I need. I know what I am doing. It will be rough at times and my mind is a beautifully horrific muscle. It will make me believe things that would make another person die.

 

However, I resolve to take back my life. I will do all that the doctors tell me to do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. I will take the medication until I am well enough to not be on it. What is that cheesy saying, I have a mental illness but it doesn’t have me?

 

I will fight because I will not repeat history. I have let too much of my life pass me by.

 

Having a mental illness is the scarcest disease because everyone is afraid of it. You can never truly explain what it is like…look I even tired to explain it and I know I did a horrible job.

 

All I can tell you is just have faith in your friend. Be there for them when they ask you to be there. Don’t be afraid of them…because we are frightened of ourselves

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