An Essay On Mental Ilness

This essay has been inspired by finding past notes I had written at my lowest point, and the return of some of these feelings. This is going to be long, emotional and hard to write but I just need to. Some people will relate and others will perhaps find it to be a learning curb. If you need help at any time, there are many hotlines that can be contacted 24/7.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”

Do you know how it feels to wake up every day wishing you didn’t? Do you know what it’s like to be depressed, suicidal and dealing with bullying that borderlines abuse? I did. Every breath I took seemed to prolong the feeling of not wanting to be here. Every step I took made life feel nothing but heavy. 90% of the people around me made me question why I was even alive. I couldn’t do it anymore.

Do you know how it feels to be at the lowest point in your life and see through a black tunnel that seemed to go on forever with a lack of light or future? I did. In between feelings of sadness and anger, I felt nothing. Actual nothing. You know when you close your eyes and it’s just blackness? That’s what I felt. I can’t explain it right, it was so different to how I normally felt that I can’t find the right words.

Do you know what it feels like to have people make you feel invalid and guilty for what they were doing to you? Like you were the reason that they CHOSE to act a certain way to you? I did. In fact, it was sadistic. Traumatic and sadistic. I remember one quote vividly, “Don’t try and drag me down with you” is something a ‘friend’ told me. Who everyday found a way to make me feel like shit. That’s the quote I received when I stood up for myself and asked why I was being treated badly. That person was going through something themselves which I tried to help them with, but some people find it easier to give other people shit than to look into themselves and realise they have a problem/s that need to be dealt with.

Do you know what it feels like to have someone play games with you mentally? I did. They would act like my friend when it suited them, talked to me when it suited them, bullied me when it suited them, lie to me and spread lies when it suited them.

Life was hard, existing was hard, breathing, walking and eating were hard. I couldn’t concentrate and everyone was against me. At this time people were actually against me which then in affect made me think people who weren’t, were against me too. It’s a fine, fine line.

I drew to get out of me the demons that had sewn themselves into my very core that didn’t seem to budge. I lost who I was and what I was. Every time I added a cut to my arm felt like 3 seconds of relief, feeling like a human. You cut and you bleed. It’s something you don’t really understand until you’ve been there. You don’t kn

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ow why you feel like that but you just do. My first thought wasn’t depression. I didn’t know what it was, I just wanted answers. This is a photo of something I drew a week before I attempted suicide.
I wasn’t in a good place. I was living every nightmare that you read about or see movies about. I experienced a life I never want to return to.

Attempting suicide was no easy feat. I had gotten so low that I decided my only option was to die. Not an easy choice to make or think about. You live in a world where nothing matters, where your life just doesn’t mean anything. You feel so hopeless and pathetic. Stigma makes you feel even worse.

It was a weird experience, I’m not going to give details but I will explain the emotional side. I thought it would be easy to do the thing that will kill me and that’s it, done. I got about halfway or so through my attempt and something in my brain clicked. I felt human with proper emotions I was used to, I stopped. I laid on the floor and cried my eyes out realising that I could have actually died. I realised that I didn’t want to die, I wanted my feelings to die. I wanted to become a different person. I no longer wanted to exist in my skin. That’s what many people aren’t aware of when talking about mental illness, it isn’t the idea of not being here it’s the idea of wanting the rock on your shoulders to go away.

A lot of my ‘friends’ turned on me during this time and sided with my bullies. Apparently it was just easier to target someone than to face their own problems. I ended up going to school every day wondering who would turn on me next and what new rumour people could spin. These people cared more about me to make lies and rumours than I did myself. It was part of the reason I came home from school one day with the intention to go through with it and end my life.A lot of people anger me with this, that suicide is selfish and a cowardly way out. You can tell a lot about people by what they say about suicide, honestly. It’s not cowardly, you want your pain to end. But in saying that, please get help before you attempt suicide. It’s not fun and not a great place to be in. Please get help that you need. 

When you try to wrap your head around watching your loved one die then deal with this, it makes for a lot of trauma that doesn’t go away for a long time. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder entered my life and still partly remains. People don’t really understand the affects of bullying until they go through with it, or someone they know goes through with it. Sometimes, people who got bullied in the past bully others. I don’t understand why, if you know how it feels?

Every morning, I’d wake up and stare at my ceiling wondering what the purpose to life was, I’d get up and get dressed and not eat breakfast. I’d sit on the bus for an hour and a half listening to my inner thoughts become louder than the music I had playing. I got to school and saw the people that inflicted abuse on me day in day out and wondered why I had to deal with their behaviour. I sat in class doing nothing, feeling nothing and wanting to go nowhere but at the same time be somewhere else. In all honesty, the only person who made me feel human was my boyfriend, and even then it felt different. I then got back on a bus for another hour and a half and repeated the mornings activities. I got home and reclused in my bedroom till the next day. Wash, rinse and repeat.

DO you know what it’s like to go through emotions (or lack thereof) and not understand why or how? That was me. I didn’t get it. I had mild depression a few years earlier that came in the form of anger rather than feeling nothing or suicidal. I didn’t think this was depression, just the affects of the death or bullying. I didn’t see going to therapy as important as I figured I could deal with this myself. I couldn’t, and it got worse.

A few weeks before the suicide attempt I started going to counselling. At first it wasn’t for me. The counsellor never let me get a word in and I felt even worse. Even that person wouldn’t even listen to me. A few weeks after the attempt I finally started seeing a better counsellor, someone who spoke to me on the level a bestfriend would and made me feel like I could scream and cry and that it was okay. I slowly started seeing the light in the end of the tunnel, I started seeing a future, I started to think properly again. I felt like I was returning. With that, came great challenges. I had to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be, something I still work on today.

Throughout the entire course of sessions, I was told that antidepressants would be available, I figured that if I was going to deal with this I’d do it myself. Everybody is different, and for me I managed to get through with it without medication. It was very hard and took a lot of will power but I got through it.

Mental illness made me realise a lot of things, people react and behave in a way that suits them and usually no one else, that things really do happen for a reason, that being yourself is so important, that having a hobby is the key to life. I learnt so much. I also learnt that depression does have a way of coming back, no matter how prepared you think you are to deal with it.

I had to manually change my thinking process, relearn what I liked and what I didn’t like and how I dealt with things. I had to learn who I was completely. That’s the part no one seems to talk about. That in reality you are a brand new person. That you are now capable of doing so many new and exciting things. I became who I always wanted to be, I started wearing the clothes I wanted, I had my hair how I wanted it, I had my makeup how I wanted it, I had the boyfriend I wanted and I chose who my friends were.

However, PTSD had its own ideas on my life. Still to this day I protect what people have access to about me, I cut off people as soon as I deem them a risk to what I’ve built for myself, sometimes I don’t leave my house or only go to certain places so I don’t come into contact with the people that brought me trauma in my past.

Lately, my depression and anxiety have made themselves known and I’ve started seeing a full on psychologist, and crack open things that I kept to myself even back then. When you do a mental heath plan you get asked questions about everything traumatic that’s happened in your life and even things that didn’t affect you, the good parts in life. You don’t realise how things affect you till you think about them deeply enough. As stubborn as I am about antidepressants, I’ve been told that if I don’t show any visible improvements in the first few weeks that I’d have no choice but to take them, as I’ve been gaining physical symptoms rather than just the emotional. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I didn’t quite know how this was going to go, what I was going to write about or how I would. But here it is, pretty much a splatter of my brain on one webpage. If you like, feel free to share experiences you’ve had in the past or now, you aren’t alone. Do what works for you and get the help you need. There’s nothing to be ashamed about or scared about when seeking help. Some people don’t get help because they think it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t work try a new style of therapy or a new psychologist. Do it for you.

 

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