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How My Mental Illness Makes Me a Walking Contradiction

I’m one of the nicest people you’ll meet. I don’t let color, race, gender, sexual orientation or anything influence my judgment on people and I get along with almost everyone. I advocate for people’s rights and will fight until the very end if I think there’s an injustice or someone has been treated unfairly. I’ll genuinely listen to your problems and I’ll move heaven and earth to help you find solutions to them. I hate seeing people — especially my children and loved ones — upset or in pain. I’ll do anything I can to make them happy again and always put them first. At work, I’m the smiley one. The one always cracking jokes, making people laugh and making light of most situations.

I’m also one of the nastiest people you’ll ever meet. I’ll actively listen to your problems and while I truly do genuinely care, I can also switch faces, spit venom in my words and turn everything you’ve told me against you just to insult you or hurt your feelings. I can make you feel like the worst person in the world if you hurt mine. I hate seeing my children and loved ones upset or hurt, but I can be the one to hurt them the most. They know they can come to me for anything, but walk on eggshells around me. I can turn into the exact thing I want to protect them from.

I can be extremely selfish, always wanting things my way and making life hell when they’re not. Yes, I’m always the one smiling at work, but I’m the angry and moody one at home. I can laugh and crack jokes but turn around and scream and cry in a rage all in the same minute.

I’m also one of the most positive and optimistic people you’ll ever meet. The sky is the limit and I’m always looking for ways to better myself and make the most of what I have in life. In the same day, I can be depressed, hopeless and want to end it all, imagining ways I can escape; whether that’s running away or dying, the thoughts are endless.

I love myself yet I’m my own worst enemy, always fighting off the intensity in my moods and self-destructive thoughts. I can be the one to keep everyone and everything together, but fall apart and crumble myself.

I’m a walking contraction but I’m not a bad person. My mental Illnesses make me think and do bad things, especially to those closest to me but most of all myself. The world needs to remember that individuals living with mental illness hurt themselves more than anyone. They are their own biggest critic and something as simple as daily small talk can be the hardest task in the world for them.

You’re probably reading this thinking “she’s crazy and unstable,” but I’m not. I am one of the friendliest, loyal and genuine people you’ll meet. I know when I’ve done wrong, I know when I’ve hurt people and I’ll always do what I can to repair it. But like others, I wear the many faces of mental illness — depression and anxiety. For every episode, down day, panic/rage attack I have, there is a different face and a different me. My mental illness and the faces that come with it don’t define me or anyone else battling the same struggles. Our strength and resilience define us. For every time my world and thoughts have crashed down around me, there are twice as many times I’ve gotten back up and rebuilt myself — always coming back stronger and more durable than the last.

And that’s how I want the world to see me — as the girl living with mental illness and killing it. As the girl who can crash and burn, but use it as her fuel to be and do better. As the girl who beat her struggles — not as the girl whose struggles and mental illness beat her.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash