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When Nobody Understands: A Mental Health Rant

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I feel like I need to talk to someone today, but, unfortunately, I don’t really feel like I have anyone to talk to about this. So humor me, will you?

I’ve been thinking a good deal about mental health lately, for a number of reasons. I’ve been struggling with my own mental health issues pretty much my entire life and have watched people who are close to me struggle as well. I can’t speak for other people, but I can tell you from my own personal experience that it’s fucking exhausting. Even with medication, therapy, rehab, etc. it’s something that you have to actively work on every single day. There is no magic treatment that will make it go away. Even when you’re in recovery, even after you’ve learned all the tools you need to cope and make your life better, it doesn’t go away. There is still that voice in the back of your head whispering negative things, telling you that no one loves you, that no one cares, that there’s no hope, that you should just give up. For some people, the voice is different. It tells them that they should worry about things beyond their control (the “what ifs?”). It tells some people that they’re not good enough and that they should starve themselves or binge eat to feel better. It tells some people that one more drink or one more hit won’t hurt…the list goes on and on.

Am I saying that therapy and medication is useless? Hell no. Without medication and therapy I probably wouldn’t be alive right now. Without those things I never would have found the energy or motivation to even consider recovery. BUT, that being said, even with those things, having to spend every day battling your own brain is still a major challenge.

What’s even more frustrating is that most of us never get any credit for how hard we work every single day to combat our mental health issues. Nobody ever recognizes that some days it’s an achievement just to get out of bed and get dressed. Nobody ever pats you on the back and says “Good job” when you actually show up to a party, after your social anxiety has literally been making you sick to your stomach. Nobody ever applauds you for eating a sandwich after you’ve been arguing back and forth with yourself about whether or not you should skip dinner. Nobody ever buys you flowers and says “I hope you feel better soon,” when you’re having a rough couple of weeks. They will, however, get frustrated with you when you don’t show up to the party because you’re too nervous. They will get frustrated with you when you can’t get out of bed and insist that you’re being lazy. They will tell you to “just eat something” when you’re too afraid to. They’ll tell you about how tired or stressed they are when you try to talk about how you’re feeling.

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Because you can’t see mental illness, people simply don’t acknowledge it the way they do physical illness. Sometimes people try to understand and be supportive, but most of the time they just pretend it doesn’t exist. People only acknowledge that you have a real problem when it begins to affect them personally or, even worse, after it’s too late.

It can be so disheartening. 😦

To be honest, I’ve been feeling really stressed the last few weeks and today I’m feeling pretty beaten down. Due to all the stress and those shitty voices in my head, constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, my eating habits have become pretty messed up again. I’m exhausted from constantly having to battle with myself about food and body image. I’m struggling, but I just plaster a smile on my face most days and go about my business because the second I slip up I know that everyone else will blame me for being this way.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for listening. And if you are also struggling at the moment, please know that you aren’t alone. ❤

9 thoughts on “When Nobody Understands: A Mental Health Rant

  1. Sister, you are not alone. I have been fighting bi-polar type 2 depression my entire life. Except when I was a kid, there was no such diagnosis, so it went untreated until 10 years ago or so. And like you say even with meds and therapy nothing works completely (and therapy does nothing for me). These last two weeks have been very tough for some reason. Since we both know there doesn’t have to be a trigger, it just shows up like Uncle Eddie in a National Lampoon Vacation movie. With pretty much the same effect. I got lucky this weekend that my wife got me going on a home improvement project that was kinda stalled and that brought me out of it. Of course spending $1400 in material almost sent right back down, but so far so good. I admire your ability to write about your feelings. That is something I have never been able to do. I always worried it will be taken as “whiny” or “he’s just trying to get attention” (my mother’s favorite). Just keep going, and will do the same! Peace, B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just assume that people will think I am whiny either way, haha. I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time lately also. Hang in there. ❤

      (Your Uncle Eddie comment made me chuckle!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are definitely not alone. Some days it’s just so hard and no one understands that unless they’ve been there. It was incredibly hard just to come to work today because of things that happened in the library world yesterday. Now it’s hard to actually focus and get anything done. I should probably just go home, but then there’s that stigma too – calling in all the time or going home early all the time.. *sighs* It’s rough. Just know you’re not alone and yay you for getting outta bed today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is still this very weird stigma surrounding mental health in America that doesn’t exist as much in other parts of the world. From my experiences, especially in the armed forces, any chink in the armor can be perceived by the guys around you as a weakness or a liability. That’s def not something you want in people you are supposed to be able to trust in a combat situation, so you have a lot of guys throwing up facades when they are clearly not okay on the inside.

    As a creative person, I also tend to be my own worst critic. I think part of the challenge of life is proving those inner voices wrong and telling them to go to hell. It’s an everyday battle and can be tiring, but it’s one that must be fought and won. Otherwise, it gets in the way of living and that’s no alternative from where I’m sitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hang in there matey and know that ye be strong and fierce and capable. That rough seas are a part of life but sometimes the rough seas go down fer a bit and we get to feel the sunshine. And hell yes dragging yerself out of the bunk and getting dressed is always an accomplishment. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

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