A Breakup Letter To My Mental Illness

A Breakup Letter To My Mental Illness

Hey, we need to talk.
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Wow. I think writing that headline took ten years off my life. My heart started racing, my anxiety deciding to come out to play while I wrote this. I suppose I've always wanted to pretend that my brain functions normally, that my hormone levels are where they're supposed to be, and that I have never had a problem getting out of bed. So, here it goes. The breakup letter with my mental illness.

Hey, we need to talk.

We've been together for a while - we first met in eighth grade, and I was too young. You took advantage of a child, wrapped me into your lies at an age where I was so impressionable. You convinced me that numb was normal, that I was all those things I feared - fat, ugly, worthless, and that no one would care about the things I had to say. You took a girl who used to be so outgoing and turned her into someone who was shy, awkward, nervous around even herself. You became my old paint under the new, a piece of me I could never quite shake, even when you decided to take a break from me. You would release me just long enough for me to get a taste of normalcy, and suck me back in.

You were moderately contained through high school. You'd creep back onto my shoulder for about a week, and get bored again, burrowing yourself deeper and deeper inside my soul. You would make me anxious when I hadn't heard from you in awhile - what horrible, terrible thing was coming my way?

And then, all of a sudden, your interest in me became insatiable, and there was nothing I could do to keep the black hole of your presence at bay. So here's where the meat of this letter comes in: Fuck you. You came into my life in a whirlwind, destroying everything in your path this past autumn. You turned a lively, happy and excited college kid into a phantom of who she was once - uninterested, empty, and overall deep into a pit of despair where the light at the top could no longer be seen. I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't take care of myself, couldn't stop crying and feeling the aches of your presence in every bone in my body. I was in some state beyond empty - I felt the emptiness and numbness deep inside my bones, my soul. I thought I would never see the light again, and old habits came back, biting harder than they ever did before. Do you know how soul crushing it is, crying on the floor of your nasty dorm shower at 4 am because you are so terrified to sleep? Of course, you do; you caused it all. You rooted yourself deeper than ever, telling me every few minutes that no one cared, nothing mattered, that this was the life you were doomed to live. What was the point of fighting you? You'd win every time - sucking me back into the black hole of my bed.

And in a moment of strength greater than I ever thought possible, I dragged my haven't-showered-since-before-Vietnam ass to the doctor, and sat in a chair and cried to some man I had met four minutes earlier as he told me that he had never seen a depression index score this high on anyone who hadn't tried to kill themselves. Imagine hearing that. He wrote some words on a small piece of paper, and I began the long, exhausting and frustrating road to breaking up with you, to leaving you behind. And you grasped my shoulders, dug in, trying to prevent me from being the person I used to be.

But here's the thing: you don't own me anymore. You don't get to choose my moods, my relationships, my self-worth. You don't even get to define me anymore. You are the burden I will always have to bear, but I cannot allow you control over me. This is my life, this is my choice - I don't want to be a person who has no control, who can't even get out of bed, let alone stop crying. I want to live this life to its fullest, and I can't do that with you on my shoulder.

I suppose I do have to thank you. Thank you for showing me the inner strength I always had, for showing me the people who will love me for my relationship with you, not in spite of it. Furthermore, thank you for showing the relationship with God I desperately craved, for showing me that there is something worth believing in, especially when you can't quite believe in yourself yet. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better friend, a more compassionate and caring person, and someone with empathy.

But you owe me an apology. You have taken so much from me, having taught me early on that protest is pointless. You have robbed me of social opportunities, of feelings (whether positive or negative), and from fully living this one life I've been given. You have tainted the memories of the greatest times of my life with shadows of you, confirming all of my worst fears and insecurities. You have made me harm myself in every way a person can harm themselves, and you celebrated me for it. These are all parts of me I will never be able to take back, things that will never fade in my heart, on my body, and in my memory. I will have those horrible moments engrained in my mind forever, and that alone warrants an apology.

I'd tell you good luck and I'll see you around, but I hope no one has to experience you, this horrible combination of hormone deficiencies because you suck so bad, and I hope I never feel you creeping up on me, because you'll recieve a swift punch to the face.

Sincerely,

Kate

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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15 Winter Dates For Couples Who'd Rather Snuggle Indoors Than Step Foot Outside

Do I wanna build a snowman? Uhhhh NO!

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Christmas time in New England can get pretty damn cold. I mean, we do have a few warm days, but for the most part, it's cold, windy, and sometimes snowy out. Now, if you're anything like me and you don't like the cold, typical Christmas dates might not be for you, but luckily there's plenty of cute dates that don't involve venturing out in the freezing abyss.

So get your hot chocolate, eggnog, ugly sweaters and festive pajamas ready because here are 15 fun winter dates that don't involve you and your partner leaving the house at all.

1. Ginger bread house competition

2. Classic Christmas movie marathon

3. Hallmark movie marathon

Only because my boyfriend's mom LOVES them.

4. Okay so really just any Christmas movie marathon.

SANTAAAAAA

5. Making Christmas ornaments

6. Paper snowflake making competition

7. Baking and decorating (and eating!) Christmas cookies

8. Dance around to Christmas music

9. Make each other a new stocking

10. Write a letter to Santa

Super silly but super cute.

11. Take cute Christmas pictures

Giphy

Perfect time for those ugly Christmas sweaters or Christmas pajamas.

12. Decorate the Christmas tree

And you know the rest of the inside of the house.

13. Wrap presents together

14. Hang a mistletoe and kiss under it

15. Stay up tracking Santa

Don't forget to leave milk and cookies out for him, and carrots out for the reindeer.

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