What I Want You To Know This World Mental Health Day
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Mental Illness Is Messy, And It Affects Everyone Differently

This is a life-long journey.

Mental Illness Is Messy, And It Affects Everyone Differently

At some point, you begin to accept the sadness. You begin to feel comfortable in the emptiness, you begin to fear happiness. At some point I began to accept the endless crying, I began to feel comfortable in loathing myself, I began to fear seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I told myself I wanted to be happy. I screamed to the world that I just wanted to feel okay again. And I cried to the air that I just wanted to like myself. But would happiness ever be as powerful emotionally as depression was? If I can clearly enunciate one thing about the deepest days of my depression, it's that I felt the most full emptiness that you could ever imagine. It felt like there was physically nothing in my body except for my organs — but I felt that emptiness more than I have ever felt any kind of fullness when happy.

There's one Snapchat I took in the winter of 2018 in which my eyes are swollen beyond imaginable, tears stained onto my cheeks, and my face emotionless. I wrote, "I have never felt so hopeless before." Every time I go back and look at it a pit forms in my chest and my heart skips a beat. Because I can still remember right now exactly how I felt on that winter day two years ago. So completely and utterly hopeless. But that emptiness was so full.

One of the themes for World Mental Health Day 2020 is "What people with mental illness want you to know." What do I want you to know?

If you are struggling right now, I want you to know that it is okay — it is normal — to fear happiness again.

If you do not struggle with mental illness, I want you to better understand the suicidal mind, my suicidal mind.

Every story is different, but this is my story and these are my thoughts. From someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts and ideations for years now, I struggle. Even on days like today, when I am not amidst a depressive spell, but when it is just gloomy and raining all day, I struggle with the thoughts that my mind forces in my thoughts. It's a day like today when I struggle to feel like I've made progress because the second one suicidal thought pops into your head again it feels as though you are back to square one.

Last year I was in Boston for a Christmas holiday tournament. I didn't perform as well as I had hoped, but I also didn't play unexpectedly bad either. It was a mediocre weekend. Walking out of the locker room after our final game, though, I shocked myself in the most terrifying of ways. Right before walking out the door, I took one final look back at all of my best friends and my mind told me "this might be the last time you see them."

This might be confusing to people who have never experienced anything like this, that "double voice" that people always talk about. Isn't it just you telling yourself it, but trying to blame it on someone else lest you take responsibility for it yourself? Honestly, I used to think that too. But no. There's a difference, in my opinion, between brain and mind. I can control my brain to think about what I want it to think, but my mind is its own entity.

This is where I feel like a prisoner in my own body, out of control.

My mind sent this thought into my head so subconsciously that my body nearly crumbled to the floor right then and there. From day one of my diagnosis, my therapist and psychologist had been begging me to acknowledge that hockey was my biggest trigger, but I couldn't accept it. I had to finish out my final year of hockey — I had to just push through it. But it was at that debilitating moment when I knew I needed to take action. It was either I take action on hockey being a trigger, or my mind was going to take action to remove me from this earth.

I took a break from hockey. I met with my coaches, my athletic director, my teammates, and my parents. I was captain, and I felt like I was letting everyone down. I knew I wasn't letting myself down, but I didn't respect myself enough to internalize that nothing else matters. I was too focused on feeling guilt over all the defensemen having to pick up my slack and get less time to catch their breaths on the bench, over my co-captain having to pull all the leadership weight on the ice, over putting my parents in the position of having to tell other parents why I wasn't playing. Even when I very well knew I was on the brink of ending it, I still couldn't give myself the benefit of the doubt to take a break and, literally, save myself.

I spent my nights sleeping over at school, on the phone for hours with my therapist, borrowing my friend's empty rooms to sob in private. Sitting here remembering and typing this all out, tears are welling in my eyes. As much as I feared (and sometimes still fear) happiness, I fear ever reaching that place again, which I know is a very high possibility with this illness.

I guess I'm not really giving any of you a clear cut answer as to what it feels like to have suicidal thoughts. Looking back at this article, it's all over the place. It's not edited or revised and it was clearly not planned out before my fingers started typing away. But I feel like this is only fitting for these topics.

On this World Mental Health Day, I hope you know that mental illness is messy, it's not a clear cut, planned out, or a revised thing. It affects you differently every time it makes its return. It hits you at the most random times. And it's a constant, life-long journey.

Report this Content
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments