Fuck Mental Illness, And Stop Acting Like It's Something That Shouldn't Be Talked About

Fuck Mental Illness, And Stop Acting Like It's Something That Shouldn't Be Talked About

A broken arm is treatable and so is a mental illness.
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You're in Malibu with your sister on a flawless day in January, and you're on the verge of tears the whole time.

All your friends throw you a birthday dinner and all you can think about is how you have no friends.

At a fancy restaurant for a date your boyfriend meticulously plans for your anniversary, you can hardly smile because you can't help but wonder if he loves you anymore.

You've flown home for the holidays to be with your family, but on Christmas Day you can't even eat the food your mother slaved over for hours because the knot in your stomach makes the smell nauseating.

That's anxiety. That's depression.

And the worst part? You can see the perfection of every moment.

You can feel the sun and hear the ocean and realize what a beautiful day it is. And you can't feel the warmth.

You can look around the table and run out of fingers to count how many people are there to celebrate you. And you can't feel the love.

You can see the look he gives you when he says he loves you. And you can't comprehend why he does.

You can see how happy everyone is to see you when you come home for the holidays. And you aren't able to share in their happiness.

You can see the perfection of every moment, but the bliss this should give you is absent. The should-be-joy has somehow escaped your grasp, and you want to kick yourself for not being able to find it.

You know where all these wonderful sentiments should be, but they aren't there.

It's a hopeless feeling.

When I was 17 years old I was clinically diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, which induces depression. As I would later find out this mild depression, too, has a name: dysthymia, AKA persistent depressive disorder.

No shit.

Being diagnosed is one of the most painful things to hear, because you don't want to be the girl with depression. You don't want to be the girl on “meds." You don't want people to come to you asking if they can buy “bars" from you because they know you have a prescription for Xanax.

Yet, there you are, all those things at once.

And it's all because of this stigma, this unbearable shame that mental illness means there's something wrong with you.

And you know what? It doesn't mean shit.

I have blonde hair. I have blue eyes. I have a tendency to switch my words around. I have a love for reading books. I have a test next week. I have anxiety.

Enough said. It means nothing more than anything else I “have." Having anxiety simply means there is a chemical imbalance in my brain, which, for some is easily corrected with mental exercises, and, for others is easily corrected with a single capsule each day.

Just as I take a birth control pill each night to prevent pregnancy, I take a 20mg pill of fluoxetine to prevent this chronic worry. Just as I take two Advil when I have a headache, I take 0.5 mg of Xanax when I'm having a panic attack. No, I'm not a “bar queen," and no, you cannot have some.

Fuck anxiety. Fuck depression. Any mental illness sucks, but it doesn't define you.

And for those of you who don't understand it: stop acting like mental illness is something that shouldn't be talked about. Stop feeling uncomfortable when people want to talk to you about it. Stop acting so shocked when someone brings it up casually like its nothing.

Because mental illness is nothing. It's a thing, no different than you telling me for the thirtieth time the story of your shin splints.

A broken arm is treatable and so is a mental illness.

So why is it that people shy away from its mention? Superstitiously, as if the acknowledgment of its name will leave you also stricken with anxiety, with bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.

The less we are willing to talk about mental illness, the more taboo it becomes. The fewer people hear of it, the more ignorant they are.

So don't be ashamed. It's okay to have a mental illness, and it's okay if it beats you down some days, some weeks, some months. There is nothing wrong with you.

Just because I have anxiety doesn't mean I don't also possess happiness.

Some days, I see the sun and hear the ocean and I feel sublime.

I see my friends and realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by such warm hearts and beautiful souls.

I hear him say “I love you, Izzy," and I still get butterflies.

I hop off the plane in Denver and see my mom's smiling face and recognize what a wonderful family I have.

Like the saying goes: “It's just a bad day, not a bad life."

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash.com

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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