I have a chip on my shoulder. A huge one. A whole bag of chips. And it isn’t with people, or God, or the world in general…it’s with mental illness. No one is untouchable or immune from it. When it strikes, it strikes. It doesn’t care who you are, where you’re from, or what you do, as long as you’re human.
When I was younger I suffered constantly. Unimaginable horrors in my mind, every single day. And one day I ruminated over everything and I felt that it was so wrong and so so cruel to feel like that. To go through what I was going through. I felt anger, even rage. I knew that it wasn’t fair and I needed to get my own back. I needed to balance the scales and try to even it out, to try to take back power from mental illness by trying to help others in any way I can to overcome, or slowly start to recover from it.
I don’t fight stigma and raise awareness of BPD because I want to be a martyr, or because I have Mother Teresa syndrome. I do it because it took everything from me. It still takes from me. I need to feel empowered and passionate and reaching out to people and advocating for those who have not yet found their voice gives me purpose, gives me strength and gives me my meaning in life. I care, so so deeply and would not want anyone in the world to feel helpless, sad, lost, depressed… anything that mental illness causes.
Living with mental health issues is the most difficult thing in the world. It is debilitating, disabling, and sometimes life-threatening. There are a million and one negatives I could list right here. However there are many, many positive things that can come out of living with these issues.
My struggles with my mental health gave me a meaning to live, an existential purpose, something a lot of people do not possess. I think that actually makes me lucky.
When I start losing my way, I start losing motivation to try to make a difference. But when I can find that tiny bit of strength to continue on that path, I find my way again.
We all have a purpose in life and a reason to be here. To feel part of something and to feel connected to others. I know so many sufferers of mental illness who are on the same crusade as me, with the same purpose. You’re all doing amazingly well.
I encourage everyone, if you can, to try to flip things around next time you’re sitting there having a horrible time of it and thinking of all these negative words to describe yourself. I thought anger would be my downfall, but it is that and a strong sense of justice and a refusal to be a victim that have given me the biggest reason to live and to utilize my experiences to try to make a difference.
Even if I reached out to only one person it’d even it out more and I’d take my own power back as well as giving it to someone else. You don’t need to be a perfect person, full of sunshine and rainbows; you just need to find your resilience, that spark inside you and do what you want to do. Make your mark on the world. Dance, sing, write, study, work. Live.
You have a reason to be here.