There and Back Again

     A tale of Depression and Anxiety

 

     First of all I want to say how serious an issue this is. None of what I’m about to say is in anyway making light of or playing down mental illness. This is a personal opinion of a very personal journey. And after a very scary moment last week, I woke up to the realization that I was a very broken person, and that I was running out of glue. And that’s ok.
     “Can’t you just snap out of it?”
     “You have so many things to be thankful for”
     “Are you sure it’s that hard?”
     “I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal”
     “There are people who have it worse off then you”
      These are honestly the ignorant things people have said to me in regards my mental health. And it’s these sort of things that make me want to have a grade A, PTSD freak out, and show them every anxiety, thought, insecurity, and demon that I deal with every single moment of my day.
      Crazy lady in aisle 6!
      The biggest mountain I have had to get over in all of this, is not making my own judgements on my own illness, I have a tendency to play it off as “No big deal” or to even think to myself that it doesn’t have the same level of concern as other things in my life.
     This is not the case.
     I cannot ask someone to understand my illness, without giving it the same serious thought. If I had a broken leg I wouldn’t expect myself to heal instantly and not feel any pain. But when it comes to mental illness, people seem to have a hard time understanding that it is just as difficult to overcome as a physical injury. The whole concept is that if the can’t be seen by the human eye, it’s not a real thing. Sometimes my illness requires me to take it easy and I can’t be in crowded places, around certain people, or sometimes I shut down entirely and don’t move from bed.
     Self reflection is something that I thought I was pretty good at until I was faced by close friends and family who were concerned with my health and safety. It was almost an episode of “Intervention”, and they were trying to save me from my own mind. And it’s not as if I went to a club and decided to try the newest hip chemical concoction, A mental downward spiral can be triggered by a variety of things. And that’s why it’s not only important to be self aware, but to have those close to you who have the loving sense to help.
     They saved my life.
     Now, let’s talk about the moment my world shifts into a panic attack.
     It’s as if I was once again in a car accident, the world stops and all sounds are muffled. I revert into a flight mode and try to hide myself away from everything. The panic part of me has a reaction and its as if my conscious mind is left there to sit paralyzed until everything can return to normal.
     You know those movies where the protagonist is in a fight or goes into a crazy/drunken/high state and starts doing the strangest things and you watch and comment out loud at the screen:
     “Get out of there!”
     “What are you doing?”
     “You’re going to be fine, just turn around!”
     Now imagine, that you’re watching yourself do those things, and you can clearly hear that voice in your head.
     And there is nothing you can do about it.
     Last week something was different though. It felt as if the broken and sick part of my mind had beaten and knocked out the conscious part, leaving me only with the sickness. It was like a J.J.Abrams film with lens flairs, voices talking over one another, and a cut to black. And when I really came too and understood that one of those voices was mine, and that in my sickness I had admitted an overwhelming defeat and loss of hope. Sadness overcame me and I cried.
     The aftermath of this event was sobering, and there are some tough choices that are being made. But I really saw a darkness that I never want to see again.
     So putting myself first is a priority, and hopefully through all of this I am able to help someone else understand that just because their illness is unseen, that it doesn’t make any less then a broken leg, or disease.
 Remember ‘Crazy’ and ‘Weird’ are just words, not labels.
 You are strong!

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