we often take mental illness and put it in a neat little bow.
we see black and white photos of attractive people crying and pouring out their soul in a romanticised way.
poor mental health isn’t just tears and running mascara.
it’s not crying because the boy you like doesn’t like you back.
it’s not summertime sadness.
sometimes it’s not being able to wash your pots and pans, leaving your laundry sprawled on your bed because it’s just too hard, and getting out of bed to do housework isn’t exactly on the top of your list.
sometimes it’s not bathing for weeks, or brushing your teeth.
sometimes it’s forgetting to take your meds and wishing you could die in a way that wouldn’t hurt your family.
sometimes it’s starving or overeating.
sometimes it’s insomnia or over sleeping.
sometimes it’s not moving unless absolutely necessary.
sometimes it’s being cruel or rude or impatient.
sometimes it’s wanting to be someone else less disgusting/jealous/worthless.
sometimes it’s dodging important calls and not paying attention to your bank balance hitting the peak of overdraft.
I could write a long-winded motivational message for this, but in all honesty, it’s a struggle. Something I’ve always hated are the “it gets better” messages with gorgeous celebrities trying to convince you that it’s just a phase.
It doesn’t get better.
I mean, sometimes, yes, but with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, any mental illness; you will still struggle.
You will still have moments when you want to give up because everything seems impossible. You will be terrified that you won’t be strong enough to keep fighting. One thing that does “get better” is the way you handle things. It’s not a phase. It’s a mental illness, but it doesn’t need to consume you.
You’ll grow, and learn, and find out what your weakness and strengths are. You’ll learn how to use your strengths, and what’s more, you’ll learn how to use your weaknesses to help others, and even yourself.
If you ever feel alone, low, helpless, hopeless, whatever it may be; you’re not.
you may feel like everything is wrong and nothing works and you have no future.
you are not defined by your mental illness.
Your mental illness does not own you; it never did and it never will.