This Year, I Finally Accept I Have A Mental Illness

girl holding a mirror
Ali Marel

I will finally accept that the doctors are right.

It is not an autoimmune disorder or cancer.

It is not ‘just a phase’, because I have gained weight, or because I am poor.

It’s not the food I am eating, the yoga I don’t do, or the chemicals in my soap.

I have thought these thoughts and a hundred others more times than not. I thought that if I stopped drinking, went vegan, or tattooed a lotus flower on my foot that I would find something outside of me that would change how I felt.

I thought, if I could just lose 10 pounds I would finally be able to focus in class. If I would stop drinking and doing drugs I would finally be able to get off the couch and do something else. If I was an organic yogi who made her own soap then, but only then, would I be able to stop my mind from thinking about all the ways I could die on my way to the bus stop.

I’ve done this for years. I will pass off my obsessions as passion and my compulsions as ‘enlightened practice’.

My ability to hyperfocus allows me to fall into WebMD for hours learning about every single disease that could be the cause of my lack of focus on what needs to get done.

I can sit on the couch for days so now I can talk about what show to watch next or every single Star Wars film. So I look interesting, not depressed.

And I can pretend like I don’t need my meds. For a while.

But then I saw the skin around my thumbnails raw and red. And I watch all six seasons of GIRLS in two days. And I get mad at my boyfriend because he could not understand why making chicken enchiladas instead of pasta was such a big deal to me.

So this year, I finally accept that I have a mental illness (actually multiple). I accept checking yes to having OCD and ADD. I accept taking Prozac everyday because it’s 2018 and it’s time.

Finally. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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