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The War I Battle Is in My Own Mind

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I’ve wanted to share my story for quite some time, but I’ve been super nervous. I’ve been second guessing myself (it’s what I do best) because part of me feels like my story isn’t going to be good enough to be seen by other people, and then the other part of me is like “heck yes! I can do this!” So here it goes!

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Being diagnosed with ADHD when I was 12, and then years later being diagnosed with anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression, finally helped me understand the war I was battling. That war I battle is in my own mind. Sometimes I come out on top, and other times I lose to the depression, anxiety and bipolar. Just because I sometimes “lose” to my illnesses doesn’t mean I am a weak person, it just means my armor wasn’t all the way protective against certain aspects. Even though I take medication and try my best to be proactive in defeating the war that is my mental illness, some days are bad days and some are good days. Medication doesn’t magically rewire my thought process, but it helps “knock off the edge.”

Medication has always had a bad rep when it comes to mental illness. People refer to it as “crazy pills” and sometimes I joke back with them, depending on who they are, because I can do that. Sometimes I snap at people and tell them, no, you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. But without my medication, I don’t feel “normal.” Without it my brain runs 100 miles a minute, I get super pissy and even more emotional than usual. I don’t like the person I am when I’m off it. And plus, it’s not healthy for me to not have it, or skip doses. I let my mental illnesses control me and it’s scary.

When I was younger, it was hard coping with my mind because I didn’t know a lot about the type of mental illnesses I was diagnosed with. But as I’ve gotten older, I have learned a lot through researching, reading and experiencing a lot of things. Like when I was younger, I turned to self-harm. I can honestly say I never wanted to cut to kill myself (although I thought about dying every day), I just wanted the numbness to go away. I wanted to feel something other than “nothing.” It’s been a couple of years since I actually self-harmed, but I still crave the feeling sometimes. I crave to feel something when I feel nothing at all. For me, it’s an addiction. That’s what your mind wants you to think. It wants you to think you need to self-harm because no one loves you, you’re not good enough, you’re a failure. But that’s not true.

I know what is true, though. I know I am loved, I am not a failure and that I am good enough. I know I can and will get through my bad days. And I will cherish my good days. Everything will fall into place and make sense one day, and I just need to keep trucking along. And here’s something else too. It’s OK to talk about mental illness. It’s OK to talk about the scary stuff, the good, bad and ugly stuff when it comes to mental illness.

Here’s my advice: It’s OK to be afraid to talk about what’s going on in one’s mind, but nonetheless people need to talk about it. Find someone who you trust wholeheartedly, and tell them what’s going on. Or you can even go to online to a crisis hotline and tell them if you don’t feel comfortable telling anyone else. Someone is always always going to be there for you. And in the end you will feel better about it, and you will be glad you did.

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.

Image via Thinkstock 

Originally published: January 3, 2017
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