A Letter To My Mental Illness…๐Ÿ’”..

Hello my lovelies…๐Ÿ™‚

Mental health and mental illnesses are often seen as a taboo topic, something people are too afraid to talk about. It is my hope that one day we will live in a world free of stigma. In what is only a small step toward that goal, I am opening up about something I’ve always worked so hard to hide โ€” my own struggle with mental illness.

To my Mental Illness,

For a long time, I refused to accept your existence, but Iโ€™ve recently discovered that doing so is pointless and exhausting. You are a part of me. Perhaps not my favorite part, but a part nonetheless โ€” the same as my heart, my lungs and my eyes.

I owe some of my darkest moments to you: nights Iโ€™ve spent crying myself to sleep; friends and family, people I love, whom Iโ€™ve hurt unnecessarily; the crippling fear of not being good enough, of never measuring up to my own ridiculous standards; the little voice in the back of my head constantly whispering that I needed to be better, stronger, smarter, prettier. There were times you broke me down to nothing, and I let you again and again.

I guess I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity of every issue… Iโ€™ve ever dealt with throughout my life…anorexia nervosa, social anxiety, general anxiety, depression, negativity, overthinking, mixed emotions, loneliness, low self esteem…bulimia..self harm, and suicidal thoughts…

So I shoved you in a dark corner and tried to forget. It never made sense to me how someone with so much, who lived such a full life, could feel the things that I did. The emptiness, the hollow void in the pit of my stomach that just ached for something more. Happy, positive people just donโ€™t get depressed. Thatโ€™s what I used to tell myself.

But thatโ€™s exactly what I was: depressed and anxious. I used to think that giving you a name, a label, gave you power. Depression and anxiety became two big scary words for how I was feeling.

Now I realize that the power lies within me. I have the power to let you rule my life or to take back control into my own hands. I wonโ€™t let you define me. Not anymore. I am not depressed; I have depression. I am not anxious; I have anxiety. I own you, not the other way around.

As dark as some days have been, that darkness only allows me to better appreciate the light โ€” weeks spent traveling the world seeing unforgettable sights; nights spent at concerts, surrounded by hundreds of strangers, feeling connected by the beat of the same song; days spent laughing with family and friends, a love so deep it consumes me; accomplishments that fill me with a sense of pride; the day I went to college and got a diploma in mental health…I had poured my heart and soul into. You, my mental illness, have taken so much from me, but you can never take my sense of hope. You will never diminish my belief that tomorrow can and will be better than today. Even when dealing with you seems like an uphill battle, it is one I am determined to win.

I used to feel shame of the idea of talking about you as if admitting your existence made me weak or less of a person. If anything, you make me stronger. Knowing that you can climb your way back up from rock bottom gives you a sense of self-worth like nothing else can. For all the pain youโ€™ve caused me, you are my greatest source of strength.

Most people see mental illness as something negative. These people view you as causing some sort of detriment to me and my well-being. On some level, these people may be right about you. Maybe you do bring me down sometimes. Maybe I do let you win more than I should. But, amid all that swirling negativity, I am more determined than ever to turn you into a positive. Because at the end of the day, this is my life, not yours. If youโ€™ve taught me anything, itโ€™s that I can overcome more than I think.

For that, again I thank you.

Yours Sincerely,
Me…

…Please speak to someone…donโ€™t be afraid…๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜..together, weโ€™ll beat mental illness..โœŒ๐Ÿผ.

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