Society Told Me

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. It has exploded on twitter and it makes me smile to know that there are so many people in this world who struggle with the same issues that I do. It also makes me smile knowing that there are so many people speaking out about their illnesses despite society constantly dehumanizing us for having them.

Mental illnesses have always been something I struggled with. Although when I first started struggling I didn’t know they were called mental illnesses and I merely thought I was some emo freak who wanted to die for attention, because that’s what society told me.

I can remember the first time I ever thought about killing myself in seventh grade and how I thought  would never be happy. I remember thinking that I belonged in an insane asylum which is why it showed up in every single one of my seventh grade art projects. I laughed it off but secretly thought I belonged in one, because that’s what society told me. I can remember the first night I self-harmed and how I had to cover my arms and legs and stomach at all costs in fear of someone calling me out for being a freak and ostracizing me, because that’s what society told them to do. I can remember defending one of my friends for cutting and saying she was just like us. Each of them told me I was “as crazy as her” for saying something like that, and they were afraid she would kill herself because of the cutting, because that’s what society told them, that everyone who cuts is emo and will kill themselves.

Here I am, 7 years after I wanted to kill myself for the first time. I still do sometimes but I begin to realize that this feeling will pass and it won’t make anything better. I can remember the last time I ever self-harmed, a little bit over a year ago. I remember how happy I was when I was one-year self-harm free and how much I cried on that day because I never thought I would live to see that day.

Today I want society to piss off. Mental illnesses are normal. 1 in 4 people have them. The stigma behind mental illnesses needs to stop. If I post this anywhere, ever, I guarantee most people will not even believe this is something I struggle from, because unlike what society tells you, people who live with mental illnesses can function in everyday society just like those without.

The last thing anyone wants to hear is that it gets better, but the one thing everyone needs to hear is that you are not alone. I needed to hear that 7 seven years ago, I needed to hear that last night. World Mental Health Day exists for people who suffer from mental illnesses to know they are not alone. We may feel like it so often, but we aren’t. This day also exists so that we can end this stigma that accompanies mental illnesses. This stigma is the reason I waited 5 years to get help, the reason so many other wait that long or don’t get help at all. Society has dehumanized people with mental illnesses and this is our day, to show that we are humans and we are just as capable. Everyone fights their own battles, mine just take place inside of me.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hi friends, this week was mental illness awareness week. Basically, having mental illnesses suck but we need to understand that 1 in 4 people struggle with them and that typically, these people can function in society just like people without.

I always struggled with my mental illnesses since I was in middle school. Now, I am finally coming to terms with them and myself. It’s very unfortunate that I had to struggle with mental illnesses alone for such a long time. I do not want any of you, or anyone ever to have to go through something like this alone.

Recently, I started following the instagram @wearyourlabel which is basically a clothing store that tells you it’s okay to not be okay. This instagram sells shirts with slogans such as “self care isn’t selfish,” “you are enough,” and “anxious but courageous.” I really like all of them and in order to prevent impulse buying each of them, I am holding off until I can narrow down until there is only one I am absolutely in love with.

After I started following wear your label, another instagram account @buddyproject. Intrigued as to what the ‘buddy project’ was all about, I followed them back and took a look at their website. Basically the buddy project is a project started by Gabby Frost. Gabby’s mission was to pair people as buddies while raising awareness for mental illnesses.

I really think that the buddy project is a great organization and kudos to Gabby for thinking about it. It’s very easy to sign up for a buddy. All you have to do is share you name, twitter handle, email, and share what a few interests are and bam! You’re signed up. I’m not sure how long it will take to get my buddy, but when I do find out, I’ll be sure to let you all know. I also recommend everyone suffering from mental illnesses or those wanting to be more aware of mental health in general, to take a look at either wear your label or buddy project.

Have a great weekend and Always Remember to be Aware of Mental Illnesses. I didn’t write 2 essays and three speeches about them in college for nothing

Alicia

She

The feeling is one of an indescribable measure. How can you describe something where you feel so much but so little at the same time?

She washes over me a like a wave, engulfing me like a flame, bringing me down with her into that dark abyss. I can’t go back I tell her, I’ve come so far from where I once was. She doesn’t listen to me, she never does. I can never escape her, no matter how hard I try. She will always continue her chase. I try to run away but she takes my hand and drags me back down, farther back, deeper than I had ever been before.

I’m taking one step forward and five steps back. As I put on my mask of happiness for the day to cover the empty feeling writhing inside my very core, it’s back to my daily ritual. Masking my sorrow with a mask that looks almost as fake as it feels.

We all carry on with our days. People pass me by and I can’t help but wonder if they don masks too. What are they hiding? I can’t tell if I have mastered the art of hiding behind this pasted on mask or if no one cares enough to see that I’m falling apart behind it.

It’s obviously the latter she tells me. As the razor glides across my skin I look at myself and all I see is her. How did I get to this point? How did I let her envelop my very being, my entire self?

It has been years of struggle. Of letting her take me to rock bottom. This is the better life she assured me. I’m the only one who cares about you, she reiterates for the hundredth night in a row. As she caresses me every night in bed as I cry to her and tell her of my struggle, she is the only one who listens to me. She understands me, the only one who understands me. At a certain point, I start to agree with her. Maybe she’s right. Maybe she’s the only one who cares for me, understands me, loves me.

But how could that be? People say they love me. She tells me they are lying. That they feel bad for me. That she is the only one who truly cares. Day after day, I debate with what is right. Do I let her continue to love and cherish me, or do I try to get rid of her? How can I get rid of something that seems so natural, so needed. Maybe she needs me and I need her. That’s what she tells me anyway. That the two of us were went to be. And maybe she’s right.

Years of me trying to take control. Trying to loosen the grip she has on my life. Loosen the grip she has held for years. It works sometimes. Sometimes I can pry her long slender fingers from my arm and get free for a period of time. But, no matter what  I do, she always finds a way. She weasels her way back into my life. She creeps up on me when I least expect it. And she seizes me again. After I writhe in pain at her touch for a while, it becomes the norm again. She has done it again, gotten me under her spell, and despite my protests and cries for help, no one can hear me and she has total and complete control over me and my entire being.

Until next time,
Alicia

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