They’ll make you feel guilty for it.
For the scars, for the depression, for the anxiety, for the mood swings – for all of it. Very few people understand how mental illness and the mental health field works. It scares people and that, above all things, makes me very angry. I mean, I understand to a point and I really try to, but it seems so unfair. People understand how debilitating cancer is. Can’t they understand how debilitating that chemical imbalance is?
Let’s get this straight right now…
Mental illness is a physical illness.
You are not broken if you are sick. Do not let them make you feel like it’s your fault if you are depressed, have bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, ADD, anxiety, or any other mental illness. Your body is afflicted. This is not made up. Don’t let them make you feel like less of a person.
Today, I was shamed by medical personnel for old scars on my arm. I was characterized by my bipolar disorder and its stigma, and the separate physical ailment I was being treated for was disregarded. People who were supposed to understand failed to.
So trust me, people will fail you. They will shame you. You will be judged.
Know that you do not deserve to be. You deserve far more than what this world or the people in it will give you. You are not your illness. You are a human being. You are not a societal pariah. You belong. What makes you different does not make you ugly. You are beautiful – your mind is still beautiful. Don’t be ashamed of it.
Today, I cried. Because it hurt. Because I was ashamed. Because people only saw me for my illness. But I am more – and I refuse to let the stigma define me.
So don’t just keep your head above the water with me this time – walk on it. Prove everyone wrong. We are stronger than they think. Let’s walk on the water and the waves that have tried so hard to break us.