I have just begun to find my voice, to find ME, and I have no intention of letting depression, anxiety, body image issues or anything else stop that.
I really don’t have a great way to end this so I’ll just say . . . I care. Know that there is someone out there that cares and just try to remember that.
We shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone else just to feel accepted! I am dedicating my life to removing the stigma associated with mental illness. I am grateful to Bring Change 2 Mind for starting the discussion. The masquerade is over! My illness is a part of me, much like the color of my hair or eyes. But it does not define me.
At some point I realized my heart was racing, I was breaking out in a cold sweat and my chest was tightening and and beginning to hurt. It was only a month later I realized I was having a panic attack. During my 25 years serving churches I had often faced hostility of all kinds, even death threats and now I was experiencing the toll all that had taken on me.
I have a serious problem and I will keep telling my story to every one. No one deserves to suffer like I do. I know that I don’t deserve to feel this way. My hope with making this public is for someone to realize it’s okay to have mental illness. You are not seeking attention you have a medical issue.
Please if you suffer from mental illness or just some symptoms, go and as for help! I know it’s hard, probably one of the hardest things you have to do: but it’s worth the panic attack when you’re on your way to the doctor, it’s worth all the tears you cry just thinking about you appointment, it’s worth not being able to eat because you’re anxious about the appointment.
For mental health week at my school, there was an anonymous drop box where students could write their stories with mental illnesses. I submitted my story, thinking it would be a good outlet to let out my emotions. My story was read in front of the entire school in an assembly, and I told one girl who I thought was my friend that it was my story. She proceeded to tell the entire grade, and of course, the entire grade proceeded to bully me more.
People fighting mental illness suffer in silence, they attempt to try the frequently mentioned “Pollyanna” treatments of suck it up, think good thoughts, don’t do it, or think of your other options besides suicide. I had a professional tell me take a vacation, as if my sadness, desperation, suicidal thoughts, trauma flashbacks or symptoms would not join me on said vacation. I’m reminded of the saying where ever you go there you are.