To My Mental Illness: You Will Never Break Me

To the darkness that has made a home in my mind:

You don’t leave me alone. I know you think you’re helping, but your constant presence is dragging me down into an unimaginably deep sadness. I know what you want; you want to be understood and to protect me from dangerous situations and judgment. I know when you tell me to stop eating or self-harm, you want to be heard. I know you want people to believe you.

But you don’t do any of that for me. You make me believe things that aren’t true. You make me think people I’ve been friends with for years hate me and are uncomfortable around me. You make me feel worthless because I panic when I step outside of my house. You make me avoid eye contact or you shut me down when I try to speak up. You make me feel vulnerable and weak. You make me feel like my life doesn’t have a purpose, like you’re never going away. Like you’re going to haunt me every minute of my life.

You don’t speak the truth. You never have. I hear you every day, but it’s time I stop listening. It’s time I realize I’m all you have, but you’re toxic to me. I wish you could just disappear. That the darkness would be replaced with light, and my life would carry on as normal. You feed off of my fear, but I am stronger than you will ever be. I will be OK. I will fight you until you speak your last vile words to me, and I will fight you off every time you try to resurface. You may hurt me, but you will never break me.

I want to say goodbye, but I know that’s not realistic. This is a battle that is not easily won or forgotten. So for now, you’re no longer welcome. I’ll live with you, but I’m done living for you.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via bruiniewska.

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