What My Mental Illness Looks Like

I was scrolling past a Tumblr post the other day where a young girl wrote a paragraph about what “her” mental illness looked like, and I fell completely in love with it. I heard other symptoms that don’t happen to me but still felt the pain from her; she gave such raw emotion/struggle in her digital words that stopped me in my tracks. Then as I got to the end of her post, she continued to ask everyone else to post something similar to help stop the stigma against Mental Illness (which obviously made me fall in love with this post even more.)

So, I decided to do one as well in honor of all the girls/guys who did one and for all the others who were too affected by the stigma against Mental Illness to feel comfortable about writing so openly about it.

What does my mental illness look like? It looks like a lot of days spent in bed fearing talking to others, but the next day chatting up a storm with a stranger happening to be buying the same dish soap as me. Being riddled with so much anxiety that it sometimes throws my emotions into a tizzy and I lash out on the people I love. Being so angry that only throwing things/punching pillows seems to help release the feeling. Dyeing my hair some weird color, buying an expensive and unneeded item, following my emotions instead of reason because in the morning I’m riddled with dread about being alive. Going through relationship after relationship (platonic or romantic) over and over again, because my mental illness doesn’t admire stability. Crying before some workouts because my body/mind is so exhausted before I even lift up a weight. Religiously taking baths, doing face masks, drinking tea because all of these are posted on every Google search for “how do I help my anxiety.” That is what it looks like to me, but even with all of those moments, I have better ones that arise.

I spend a generous amount of time meditating my mind, stretching my body with yoga, and running past my slump with my long distance running. All the people in my life hold my head up when I need it the most, and show me so much love that I am shocked each day. I have mastered the art of communication and can openly tell others how I feel rather than bottling everything up only for it to come crashing down. I let life run around and do whatever it pleases because after years of therapy I learned that I have no control of that but only how I deal with it afterwards. Through my mental illness I’ve learned so much about the me who is no longer striving to be rid of her mental illness but the me who wants to inform others about how to live through it.

So what does your mental illness look like? Is it anything like what I described? If not, then what else could you add about the ups and down of having Mental Illness.

I would also like to end this post with marking it in dedication to a family member of mine who passed away earlier this year to suicide, we all miss you very much. Many people treat the idea of suicide so terrifying/taboo to talk about that the people suffering sometimes feel too ashamed to ask for help before making a permanent decision.
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