Life in darkness is a never-ending road of twists and turns. Constant bumps in the road including potholes. It’s almost like being on a rollercoaster ride. Your being flipped upside down in so many directions and at different angles, that it makes you sick. Living with mental illness shows no end in sight. Suicides are by far one of the top killers among people in our society and honestly, I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
So many of us deal with complicated situations in our professional and personal lives. Depression and mental illness are skyrocketing more than ever. Almost 50% of people living with depression or mental illness will go undiagnosed and don’t seek treatment for it. Whether it’s due to health care costs or whatever the other reason is, this needs constant attention.
Life in darkness is tough. So many things will happen that you’ve never experienced before in your life. Twenty five years in the typhoon of mental illness, I don’t have all the answers or the cure for mental illness. (Just insights and experience!) But I’m passionate about spreading the word about mental illness. I’ve experienced so many panic attacks, anxiety attacks, so many tears have been shed, so many angry outbursts, isolation and withdrawal from society, so much scrutiny from non-sufferers, bad insomnia, a lot of weight gain and other health issues. I guess you could say that I’m a fighter or warrior, but some days I wonder how I’ve made it through each day.
Your mood is mostly consistent on a daily basis. But it changes when something happens. Most days I feel the same: unhappy, fat, ugly, and trapped in hell with the devil. Other days, I feel like I have a purpose in my life. It feels like I’ve been encased in a box or drowning in the same swimming pool for so many years. Not feeling well or good about yourself is tough. If you can’t imagine this, then picture a hurricane following you every single day. The battle inside of your head and body is more than some can handle. It’s like your losing yourself everyday. When something traumatic happens, then all hell will break loose. Depending on what type of situation occurs, it can cause me to become more depressed and angry or more sicker. For example, a recent episode of PTSD caused me to have 48 hours of excruciatingly painful migraine headaches that I thought were being I was having a stroke. (I wasn’t. My body was reacting to the stressful situation.)
Not feeling like yourself at all. Some days, I will feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience or experiencing constant vertigo. I’m here, but I’m not there. My head is foggy and I’m a little dizzy. I hate that. I will be at work or out in public and experience vertigo. The struggle is real. Everyday you get up and continue fighting the war. You have to fight billions of battles, but you haven’t won the war yet.
To prevent rejection or criticism, I isolate myself. I stay away from society. I’ve been hurt too many times by so many people and I’ve been treated like a child instead of an adult.
The scariest part of mental illness is the unpredictability. I don’t know when the next major depressive episode will hit me. I don’t know if this episode will cause something such as violence or result in suicide. People handle situations differently than others. Some resort to violence and some don’t.
Being overwhelmed day by day is all too real. It’s like an elephant is sitting right on your lap and you can’t breathe at all. But I’m not the only person that feels this way.
The struggle is real and non-stop. Don’t except this to end overnight or go away in a few days or weeks. It doesn’t work like that. Mental illness isn’t like a common cold. Contagious, yes, but not gone within a few days.
Not the only one in pain! I’m not the only sufferer in this world and will not be the last to be diagnosed with mental illness. There’s always help available and people to talk to.