PsychologyMental Health

The Journey Of Accepting My Mental Illness

There is something up. I know but I can’t classify it but I know and I have to do something about what I’m feeling. The first time I recall myself in an isolated space was when I first came to this country; I was new and I was alone. I didn’t speak up because I didn’t have the language to say what I was feeling. I had food, shelter, and clothing but I didn’t have a voice, comfort nor safety. I was emotionally in solitary confinement and I didn’t have a safe space. I was having ongoing moments of sexual abuse that I couldn’t talk about, my mother had no understanding of how to be with me and she didn’t really try but I can’t even blame her. I learned how to self isolate, hide and disappear into myself but in that process, I was forming unhealthy ways to control myself and protect myself.

I isolated myself to the point of no words, and I became proficient at being “okay,”  “fine,” and “just tired.” But in reality I was drowning, I was in unimaginable amounts of pain and I was ashamed, embarrassed and to too scared to speak up because I felt worthless. It’s been hard and it is hard to write these things about myself but I must. Talking about this helps me and I know it will help people like me because I know I’m not the only one who has been too strong, for too long but falling apart behind closed doors.

The first time I thought something was wrong was when I couldn’t make it out of bed junior year of high school. I didn’t want to do anything. My closest friends were going to college, I didn’t speak to my friends in the school I just left, and I didn’t have anyone I could really explain these things to. I did eventually find an adult I could trust and she was incredibly open, helpful and she listened. Her energy and her loving ways made room for me to speak and be heard. She heard me and offered love to me because she knew that’s all I needed. She provided a soft space for me to rest my head and my worries. Even with that, I still had days when getting out of bed was an uphill climb. I didn’t see the point in getting up and shaking myself. I couldn’t describe what I was feeling and I didn’t want to. I stayed down and stuck for many days at a time. I was incapacitated and that cycle continues every time something traumatic happens and it gets a little worse the older I get and I’m just now realizing this could be an undiagnosed mental illness. I am not well.

I function. I am a committed mom. I shower. I workout. I do my hair. I write. I socialize. AND about two weeks before my period comes, I am out of control. I have no handle on my thoughts or over my emotions. I think the vilest, ridiculous and self-deprecating things to say to myself. Aside from crying at the most basic commercials, I can’t shake the feeling of failing at everything and wondering why my inadequacy was ruining my life. I wonder about my worth, and how come people can want me but not value me. I question motives and I feel alone. I feel as though what I am feeling is irrational and instead of allowing myself to be supported, I just step back and I retreat. I hide away in my world and sink into some pretty low depths. I have the language now, and I have the community but I was never able to say, I need help. I need support. I need more than a hug, I need to talk to a professional because things don’t feel right, and there’s a clear pattern of incredible highs and abysmal lows, and I have to get it handled. Things are not handled. I am not well and I need to be well.

I believe we are shown patterns, signs, and people who are showing us what we need to know. I have never been more surrounded by people who are here for me and will support me. I am in a space where I can say I need help and my village will help me find help. I have some destructive and self-sabotaging ways that are severely getting in the way of my progress. I think I’m in a holding pattern because of something I am unable to identify. I believe I have to unpack my trauma and create opportunities for myself to be healthy, and mentally sound.

I am unable to continue living my life without the aid of a professional mental health provider. We all have our self imposed stigma around mental health and I believe it is my pride and ego which has me tackling this feeling alone this entire time. I can no longer do this alone. I need support and I am sharing openly because this is a step towards healing. This admittance of truth is helpful for me and I hope it would help others speak up too. I’m not embarrassed but I do feel fear. There’s a certain level of control I must relinquish in order to find the healing I desperately need. I must find healing. My life depends on it. TC mark

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Wild Woman. Carefree Black Girl. Joyfully Audacious. Follow Arihat on Instagram or read more articles from Arihat on Thought Catalog.

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