Mental Illness in 750 words. Ok, great. Totally not possible. There are 1,025,110 words in the English language, and not one can describe what it’s like to live with a Mental Illness. Therapists, psychiatrists, friends to talk to, social workers, your parents, none of whom know what it’s like being you. Sure, they can give you advice and medicine, but no, they don’t know exactly what you’re thinking and how YOU handle things.
All my life I have been some sort of a “neat freak”. If you came into my room and left something in a different place than before, it feels like this little army dude is on my shoulder pointing out that difference. He’s telling me that everything needs to be perfect and clean, just how I like it. Throughout my years in school, I became more organized with my schoolwork, school supplies, and activities. Along with this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I developed Anxiety. My Anxiety caused me to never be present. I had to know what time we were leaving that place/event and what we were doing after. Getting more and more overwhelmed, I had to leave whatever I was doing because I felt a weird tingly feeling throughout my toes to my brain. School dances, awkward high school parties, and hanging out with a larger group of friends, that tingly feeling turned into tears rolling down my cheek and sweat dripping. I was so out-of-place, the whole world felt like it was crumbling up on me.
Freshman year it progressed into something worse. I became OCD to the max and my anxiety got to a place it has never been before. I obsessed with keeping everything perfect instead of hanging out with friends and doing schoolwork. Suddenly, my health became an issue on top of my mental health. Spending the summer going into freshman year getting tests done for my stomach, was when my life went from being that of a normal 14 year old to that of a much older woman. I was not emotionally present that summer because I was too focused on finishing “Lost” on Netflix. I couldn’t process and cope with my health and mental health situation, and at the time it was a good thing.
Once I began high school at a difficult private school (well, difficult for me), it contributed to me slowly developing depression. I missed school because I wasn’t feeling good. I ended the year with 320 absences and a part of me was okay with it. I stopped hanging out with friends and got no sleep. Day by day obstacles came upon me, and instead of facing them head on I wouldn’t face them at all.
I could go on about my depression story, but realistically depression isn’t something you can cure with Zoloft. Depression is something you have to live with your whole life. Life’s a roller coaster. It has ups and downs. One second you’re the best you’ve ever been and feel like top shit and a second later, bam, you’re down and there’s no way getting back up. You feel as if the whole world’s crumbling upon you, or that the world has stopped spinning. The roller coaster keeps going on its path and you get back up. Ups and downs are just parts of life. Shitty things happen, but really awesome things happen as well.
Depression has taught me to handle downs differently and to move past them. At the end of the day, you have tomorrow to start fresh, make new memories, and go through new experiences. Life is so short, I should be learning new things, making memories, and living life. I learned how to be organized, but not get obsessive and try my very best to live each day smiling.
Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. I do have Mental Illnesses and that’s normal. I’m not writing this to show my difficulties living with a mental illness, I’m writing this to show you how to face those obstacles that life will throw at you. IT’S OKAY to feel the way you’re feeling. Be open about it. There are so many things to do in life. Your outlook on life can be either that each day you’re getting closer to dying, or, that each day you’re living. Read. Ride a bike. Do a handstand. Sing. Shop. Dance in the rain. Do yoga. Fall in love. Build a snowman. Kiss someone. Learn. Travel. Meet people. Skydive. Adopt a dog. Do art. Eat ice cream. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Yell. Jump. Love. Live. Live your life.