As I’m writing this out, I’m alone in my bedroom, in the dark, unable to get out of bed on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Why, you might ask? Let me tell you, but please know that I am not going to sugarcoat anything. Here, I will be sharing the bad and ugly side of mental illness.
TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post will discuss sensitive subjects, such as suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and more. Proceed with caution.
Everyone with mental illness suffers in their own way, but we all tend to feel alone in what we go through (although we, realistically, know better). Every diagnosis, every person, is different.
Many years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Although it made sense, something else always seemed to be wrong with me. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I received the diagnosis of PTSD and BPD, where everything began to fall into place.
If you are a family member or friend of someone that suffers with BPD and you do not know what it is, please do your research. Whether you choose to believe it or not, you could possibly be doing them more harm than good due to not understanding them.
This morning started out fairly well for me, aside from the interrupted, little bit of sleep I was able to get last night. I got out of bed, and instantly started to finish getting things done around the house that I’d been neglecting for almost a month now.
First, I started the washer and dryer to finish up the last 2-3 loads of laundry I had left. I decided to get a 40 minute walk in on the treadmill, which I’ve talked about doing for I don’t know how long, but never did. Then, I went into my son’s room and finally unpacked/tidied up his bedroom after two months of postponing it for “another time.”
After hours had passed, I felt accomplished. I wasn’t done, of course, but I was proud of myself. It’s more than I’d done in quite sometime. However, I, then, realized how exhausted I was. Due to lack of sleep last night, I assumed that was the cause. I decided to lay down for a nap for a couple of hours while my son watched cartoons.
I tossed and turned for about an hour and a half before I told myself that it was pointless — I wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep. From there, I just started crying. I couldn’t figure out exactly why, but it felt as though a dark cloud was overhead and I’d only just noticed it was there.
You see, depression doesn’t discriminate, and it definitely doesn’t need a reason to show up. It just will because it can. I’ve been dealing with a lot in my personal life lately, which is a big part as to why I’ve been so inactive. I’m mentally and emotionally overwhelmed, and I just feel incredibly alone.
What we all know is that we, truly, are not alone, but mental illness causes you to believe that. The difference is that we don’t mean the kind where someone says, “I’m always here if you need me.” We need someone who notices something hasn’t been right, and will proactively show up on our front porch and tell us to talk to them. Show us that you’re here for us, don’t just say it. Plus, we’re exhausted enough as it is without having to type it out in depth for you, and those of us with anxiety don’t do well talking on the phone. It’s nice to have human connection from time-to-time.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been suicidal. That term seems to get misconstrued a lot. It doesn’t mean I’m actively doing whatever it takes to kill myself, by any means. What that means is that I’m constantly in a mindset of self-loathing, wishing I was dead, feeling as though my family/friends would be better off without me, etc. For me, this is “normal.” It’s all I’ve ever known; it’s who I am.
When I was about 13 years old, I began to self-harm, “cutting” for those of you who may be unsure. Of course, I mainly did it for attention. I’m not at all ashamed to admit that. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but it was something that distracted me from my emotional pain. You cannot see my emotional pain, nor can I. If I were to cut myself, I can physically, with my own two eyes, see why it hurts, and where the pain is coming from.
For many years, I’d stopped. I had gotten better. About a year and a half ago, I started again. Just as before, I was able to stop. Until almost a month ago, when I began again due to personal reasons.
Despite what others may think or believe, self-harm isn’t always a means to an end. It’s not always a cry for help. For me, and I’m sure for many others, it is a way to release my internal, emotional pain that I cannot see. It’s an overwhelming pain that I have no control over. Self-harm is a way to have control over my own pain. Although it may sound stupid to you, it makes sense to me, and that’s what matters.
I’m being utterly honest and vulnerable with you all right now. This is frightening, to say the least. I’m not sure how those who know me will react or feel, but that is not why I am doing this.
Mental illness is real, and it is important to acknowledge and care for. It’s not a constant low, and it is not something we can just “get over.” It comes, and it goes. Sometimes due to things going on in our lives, while other times for no reason at all.
This morning, I felt incredibly accomplished and productive with my day. By 12:00 p.m., I was in bed, and have yet to get out of it.
I’m not OK today, and I feel as though I’m drowning in my own thoughts. It feels as though there is no way out. Tomorrow may be different, I’m not quite sure, but it doesn’t make today any less real for me. It doesn’t make my feelings today any less valid. It is OK not to be OK.
Please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 if you, or someone you know, is contemplating suicide. If you need someone to talk to, but like me, don’t like to talk on the phone, you can text the Crisis Text Line by sending HOME to 741741.