Friday, March 14, 2014

Living with Mental Illness

It's something that no one likes to talk about. For most people, it's something that is kept under wraps and hidden away from the people around them. It's just something that no one else needs to know. I'm talking about mental illness.

But I think that's stupid and more harmful than helpful.

Just because we don't talk about mental illness doesn't mean that it will stop existing. And it certainly won't help those people who struggle in silence every day. People like me.

I'm not ashamed to say that I live with a mental illness. It's more common than most people think, and it isn't helpful for people to suffer in silence when it comes to something like this. Having a strong support system and the right medical intervention is necessary to make sure that you are living with mental illness and not suffering from it.

I spend a lot of time writing, and that's the method that helps me to deal with the way that I feel most of the time. Writing gives me an outlet to put my feelings on paper, or to construct a world where I can deal with my fears and anxieties in a safe and controllable environment. That's more therapeutic sometimes than talking to my doctor.

There's no shame in having a mental illness. It isn't weakness or a punishment for something that you've done. It may be a part of you, but that doesn't make it your defining feature. Mental illness is something that can strengthen you or break you, depending on how you face it. And I've found that doing your best to be honest and face it head on is the best way to make sure that you are in control. That's what it's all about, after all, putting yourself in a position where you are in control and not your illness.

People with mental illness aren't crazy. We aren't weak, we aren't seeking attention, and we certainly aren't lazy. There are a thousand different facets to how a mental illness will play out, and none of them are predictable when you haven't walked a mile in our shoes.

We aren't broken. Just bent.

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Edited by - Stephanie King