For those of you that know me, you probably know that I am all about removing the stigma of mental illness. And for those of you that don’t know me… well now you know that as well. I’m passionate about allowing those with mental illness to speak out without fear of ridicule, and what better way to show that than by talking about my own mental health experiences. I especially say this because I have been struggling, just a little bit. So, here goes nothing.
I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was a freshman in high school, but I had been dealing with the symptoms for a long time before that. You see, it’s like I flip between feeling everything, all at once, or nothing at all. Both options feel like they could drown me. I’ve been through a few different antidepressants, and I’m now on one that works very well for me. Regardless, some days are hard. I think it can be especially difficult to go through those bad days when you’re a mental illness sufferer, because it can be hard to differentiate between the disease flaring up and just normal mood swings.
This is the issue I’ve been having lately. It’s hard to know what is “normal” (what a terrible word, there is no “normal”) and what is caused by my mental illness. I’ve been pretty emotional lately, crying a little more than I usually do, and I’ve had a hard time finding motivation to do some of my school work. I had this same problem last semester, but that was more because I was in the completely wrong field of study (see Big Changes). But now I’m in classes that are related to writing, so why am I having so much trouble enjoying it? Why am I so overwhelmed by my workload, when I know this is something I can handle?
I’m incredibly lucky to have such a great support system through my suite, and through my sisters that remain close despite being thousands of miles away. I always have someone that can remind me to breathe (sounds cheesy, but it’s what I need sometimes). I just want to make it known to everyone back at home, and here at school, and to everyone that consistently reads my blog, that I am trying. I may have been distant lately, and I may continue to be distant for a while. This is partly because I am incredibly busy, but also partly because my mental health just isn’t quite where I would like it to be. I also want to say thank you to those of you that offer unwavering support. I couldn’t do it without you. And to those that aren’t so supportive, good riddance. I have no more time for toxic people in my life.
To anyone else who may be struggling, I want you to know that you are not alone, and that I am here for you. You do not need to keep this in the dark. You are also under no obligation to share the details of your struggle, though I highly recommend it. It’s almost therapeutic. Help me to dismantle this stigma, share your own stories (if you feel it will help you), and never stop fighting. We’ve come a long way, but we also have a long way to go.
Stay tuned for more updates,
xoxo, second sister suzie