Living life in complete darkness is way more than just unhappiness. It’s pure hell. It’s a person that so badly wants to live and thrive and not only just survive. Just because my face nor anyone else’s face doesn’t have a smile permanently plastered on it, doesn’t mean that we’re rude or unfriendly. It just means something else.
Do you know what the battle is like for us sufferers? For non-sufferers get a load of this and really think about this: physical pain, excessive sleepiness, weight gain, short fuses, feeling nothing, addiction, your indecisive and your mind is everywhere, and you start neglecting yourself and others.
Physical pain: Do you know how many headaches that I’ve encountered because of depression, anxiety, and panic disorder? Too many. It will make your head spin like Linda Blair. Excruciating, mind-numbing headaches that make you sick and force you to be sidelined. Imagine someone taking a sledgehammer or ax and just attacking you until you can’t take it anymore. Scary, right? Or how about aches and pains all over your body. Imagine every muscle in your body is being twisted beyond the norm and causing intense soreness from head to toe. When you’re stressed, your muscles tighten up like pretzels and become hard as rocks. Good luck untightening those muscles when you have no energy to get up and do it. Don’t get me started on stomach pains. Depression, anxiety and panic disorder will make your stomach one angry madman. On some days, it will be fine, but other days; watch out. For some, you will spend time (minutes to hours a day) in the bathroom because your stomach is upset. Did I leave out any other physical pain besides your headaches, stomach-ache, and pain all over your body???
Your sleep: Your sleep is your sworn enemy for life. Its very existence is either existent or non-existent. Sometimes you can sleep and if you can sleep, then cue all hours of the day. If you sleep throughout the night, then bless you. Or you get no sleep at all. During college, I worked two jobs and I never slept. The car was always running but there was no fuel. Imagine your head has the light switched on but is fading fast because of no electricity. I have a set sleep schedule but don’t count on me falling asleep at the same time. Some days, I can fall right to bed. And other nights, I don’t think so. A sleep study doesn’t hurt especially if you have mental illness. It does explain somethings. A sleep schedule, sleep log, and a handy bottle of melatonin will help.
Weight gain: If you’re like me, I asked the same question: “Where the hell did all this weight come from? I don’t eat that much, do I?” You’ll be surprised at what mental illness does to you. For some, it causes weight loss, weight gain, and/or both. For me, I gained close to 100lbs. Yes. One thing that I never realized was that I became a binge eater very quickly and addicted to fast food. When you’re unhappy, you turn to food (not for everyone) and eat until you can’t no more. Or you don’t eat at all. Suddenly, your once tiny body turns into a giant marshmallow man from Ghostbusters. Me! A lot of times I won’t realize that I’m overeating because I don’t think, I just eat. And while some find cooking to be relaxing, I don’t. I find it very stressful and time-consuming. I hate standing there for 20 minutes mincing, and chopping ingredients in order to prep the meal. Can’t the ingredients come pre-cut because that would save so much time?
Short fuse: I have quite the temper and on duty, I do my hardest to not get out of control. Working in food service, it drives me crazy insane when customers say: “Gimme, uh, ummmmmmmmmmm, I’m gonna have an, um. Or, I don’t know.” If you pull up and keep me waiting longer than 5 minutes because you’re indecisive yourself, then you’re looking at an angry person. I’m not a fan of people who will say: “Um” a lot in one sentence. Just do what I do when it comes to ordering: “Hello, May I have a _____________? Or Hello, May I have just one moment please?” My short fuse occurs mostly on the job and sometimes at home especially when one Chihuahua is yipping like crazy.
Feeling comfortably numb: Just like the song, I too, feel nothing at times. I don’t want to feel depressed anymore and find ways to numb the pain. Here comes the food. For others, they find relief in drugs, alcohol or any other pursuit.
Speaking of feeling numb, cue addiction: You can become addicted to just about anything and everything. Whatever your choice of addiction is, it’s really killing you. Overeating can cause serious health issues such as weight gain and other illnesses. Too much drinking and drugs can have adverse effects on your body and health, too. For some, it’s a way of coping. We don’t want to feel any more pain nor sadness.
Indecisiveness: One of the things that I absolutely hate is being indecisive. In a restaurant, I know what I want. That’s not a problem. When it comes to dinner at home, I’m indecisive. At work, I can be a little like that. In real life, I can be very indecisive. Mainly, it’s deciding on what to do today? Should I dare even get out of bed or leave the house on my off day? If I don’t have anything planned. Annoying, isn’t?
A cluttered brain: Imagine your brain is at Daytona with all of the professional NASCAR drivers. Cars whizzing by at 200mph. You can hear the sounds of those cars as they whiz right past you. Or imagine your brain is like your email or mailbox. Too much stuff shoved in there and you don’t know where to begin. Try going to bed at night and your mind is like one of those NASCARs whizzing by at 200mph. Do they stop? Only if there’s a red flag or caution. Are there enough red flags or cautions to stop it? No.
Neglect: I’ve abandoned myself way too much with this. Everything mentioned above, I’ve done it and I’ve been here. I ignored my health and gained too much weight. I ignored what I was eating and developed quite the addiction. Sometimes, I don’t care and other days, I do care. You only have the one life. I’ve neglected others, too. I’ve lost friends because I shut them out. I’m human and make mistakes. But who said mental illness was fun?
If you feel exactly how I feel on a daily basis for the past twenty-five years, thank you! If you don’t then, read what I’m telling you. Just because I have good days and I genuinely laugh or smile doesn’t mean that I’m over my illness. It just masking the darkness for a short moment in time.