I Have Depression. I Have Anxiety. I Am Bisexual. I Am Me.

I Have Depression. I Have Anxiety. I Am Bisexual. I Am Me.

I've decided to fully embrace who I am, and I am coming clean.
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I've written this about a million times. I've sat up late at night reading my words and wondering how to say everything just right. I've deleted more paragraphs than I ever thought was possible and I've had drafts of things I wanted to say saved on my hard drive for years.

Today is the day. The day that I'm coming clean about everything that I've kept inside since the beginning of high school and maybe even earlier. Yesterday was World Mental Health Awareness Day, and after reading a beautiful piece written by a friend this morning, here's my truth.

I have depression. I have anxiety. I am bisexual. I am me.

Typing these words, I am holding back the tears as my hands shake and my mind is relaying every possible horrible reaction my friends and family could have to this if they read it.

But there's also a burning relief in my heart that I'll have no more secrets and that for the first time in a long time, I will finally be able to be me.

Let me break a few things down for you about my mental illness.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I didn't choose to feel this way and I do not do any of this for attention. My depression and anxiety do not define me, but they are very much two things that I fight every single day. I take medication every morning to help me feel like a real person again, and there is nothing wrong with that.

We need to stop stigmatizing mental illness.

Several months after I finally went to a mental health professional and started taking antidepressants, I was driving down the road when suddenly I just felt happy. I had this overwhelming sense of peace and joy and contentment flood over me, and I realized that this is what it feels like to not have depression.

This is what it feels like to be normal again.

Only recently did I start taking something for my anxiety. In the last few months, crowds and the unknown have been terrifying. I avoided going places with people at all. I'd rather go grocery shopping by myself with my headphones in, just so the little voice in the back of my mind would stop telling me that all my friends hated me and didn't really care.

Originally, this piece was just going to talk about my depression and anxiety, but then I realized that there was one more thing I was hiding. And this was even more important, albeit more terrifying, to finally let out.

I am bisexual.

I like men and I like women. I am not being "indecisive" or "picky" or "confused." I am not just going through a phase. I will not pick one sex in the end. I love people, regardless of what sex or gender, and that will never change. If you have a problem with that, I can show you to the door.

I'm tired of being scared and pretending to be someone that I am not. I am who I am, and that's enough for me.

I know so many young adults and teens who are struggling with these very same issues and honestly, there is no easy way to come out as being anything but straight. It's just as hard to be vulnerable and tell people that you are struggling with mental illness.

I'm tired of feeling weak and helpless, though, and starting today, I am embracing all of me—even the parts that I do not necessarily like.

I might lose friends or family from coming out. That's ok. The great ones will always be by my side. They are the ones there for me on my really bad days, my really good days, and everything in between. Thank you.

To anyone reading this who is lost and confused, I see you. Things will get better. It is not easy, by any means, but it will one day be worth it. Do not be afraid to ask for help—I know it's hard, but it can change your life.

Never apologize for being you because, darling, you are absolutely perfect just the way you are.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."

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Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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