People really seem to struggle to comprehend what sufferers of mental health contend with. Depression isn’t feeling sad, it’s being so exhausted of being sad that you’re just numb. You’re empty. It’s not brushing your hair for weeks on end and getting knotted from laying in bed at any moment you can. Trying to sleep through your day to escape the reality of being awake and how life is treating you. It’s wanting to go out and socialise but not having the energy to fake a smile. It’s not wanting to burden people with your troubles. Sometimes you fake that smile, others wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on inside. You laugh at jokes, you appear to be happy. You have better days at times, but depression is always lurking. Depression is pushing those closest to you away. You’re in need of support and guidance, but you’re irritable and lost. It makes you harsh with your words and isolates you further.
Depression often comes along in life with its trusty pal Anxiety. She’s a bitch. Anxiety will stop you from doing simple tasks. You want to take a walk into town and look around some shops? Haha.. now don’t be silly. Anxiety will tighten your chest, create knots in your stomach and cause you to suddenly sweat. Anxiety will then remind you each time you re-visit that place how scary it is. You’re likely to have a panic attack any time you venture there from now on. Your mind is your own worse enemy. In the midst of a panic attack all you can do is worry, send your thoughts into a whirlwind of worse case scenarios. You feel like you’re having a heart attack…like you’re going to die. As you struggle for breath you’re greeted with remarks that make you feel even worse. ‘What’s the matter with you? You’re fine’ or ‘don’t be so dramatic’. Somehow it’s acceptable to be unsympathetic towards a person who has a mental illness, yet a physical ailment would be met with words of kindness.
Anxiety will then take a step back, maybe it’s when you’re with people you’re at ease with or a place you feel safe. The struggle isn’t over yet…you’re exhausted, your mind has been overworked your emotionally and physically done for the day. Mental health is when your mind takes control of your life, it’s the mind that determines what you do with your day and how you live you life. Whether it’s a few hours or days or week. It’s important to remember that you’re only having a hard time, not a hard life. It’s easier said than done though. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you may not see it yet but it is there. You can take back the power and recover.
So while you’re frustrated that you can’t do things you used to, know that you will get back to the version of yourself you aim to be. The world would be a better place if everyone could comprehend what it’s like to live like this. If someone in your life is suffering, be patient. They will already feel a cloud of guilt, don’t make it any greyer. Be a ray of sunshine that brightens their day.