Let me tell you about mental illness. Rather than the fabricated illusions we make up in our minds about how it is.
It’s waking up in the morning with bags under your eyes because too much was on your mind last night to get any sleep. It’s convincing yourself that you did something wrong, even when you didn’t. It’s running the same scenario through your head a dozen times, thinking the outcome might change. Assuming if you did better, said better, things might be better. It’s jumping in front of a mirror, to see if those extra five pounds you put on caused your stomach to jiggle. It’s arriving to class an hour early because you somehow convinced yourself you might be late if you waited any longer before leaving. It’s doing an assignment three weeks before it’s due because you’d feel like a procrastinator if you hadn’t. Trying to convince everyone that you didn’t mean to hurt their feelings, you just weren’t mentally prepared to handle that conversation. It’s unintentionally ruining every relationship you’ve ever been in by asking too much, thinking too much, or wanting too much. It’s laying in your car, with rain pouring overhead, wondering how to move on.
You see, we are so used to hearing the expression “mental illness.” We are so used to blaming our issues on our mentality, our own mental turmoil. But it’s much more than that. Victims suffering from mental illness sit inside their heads all day long, even when they are somewhere populated.
How do you escape something that’s always with you?
How do you explain your feelings to someone who doesn’t understand, who will never understand? You’re constantly at war with yourself, with your thoughts, with others around you. The truth is, you can’t forget what’s uncontrollably forced its way into your constant thoughts. It’s become a habit to worry so much, to care so much, to hurt so much. The truth about mental illness is, the pain may not be visible, but that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t there.