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When Mental Illness Makes You Question If You're a 'Bad' Person

It’s a strange thing to wrap your head around when you start to question what kind of person you are. It’s not easy to be objective about other people, and even harder to be so about yourself.

However, after reflecting on these past couple of months, I have to start facing the harsh possibility I might not be a very good person. And it’s not because I’m malicious or cruel or apathetic, it’s simply because I don’t always think about or understand the way my behavior might affect others.

I struggle immensely with depression, anxiety and stress. I also have borderline personality disorder (BPD). And I have so many days that are absolutely unbearable because of all the weight. It’s as if one way or another, the sadness is always there, always waiting for me to notice. I could be driving on my way back from work on a bright, warm, sunny afternoon and all of a sudden there are tears running down my face and this heart-crunching pressure inside my chest.

As I’m sure many of you know, when dealing with really dark thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, it can be very hard to remain optimistic and thoughtful. Sometimes, just being friendly takes a lot out of you. And I always make excuses when I think I might have hurt someone’s feelings. I tell myself it’s because they hurt mine first. Or, I tell myself it’s not my fault if they don’t want to hear the truth.

But I think I’m the one who needs to face the truth.

When I think of depression, I think of this dark cloud that exists in my head. And now I think that darkness is spreading everywhere, in every aspect of my life, and I’m just letting it. Not by choice, not at all; I didn’t even notice until now that it was happening.

I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to keep pushing everyone in my life away. I can’t just choose to be happy, but I can choose to be kind. One small action at a time, one small choice. That’s all it takes.

It’s hard to smile when it feels like something is piercing your heart, but this disorder has taken so much from me that I can never get back and I will not let it take my compassion, too.

Getty image by lupashchenkoiryna