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What It's Like to Live With Multiple Mental Illnesses

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Mental illness seems to have become a plague in my life. Not only do I deal with major depressive disorder, but I also deal with personality disorders as well. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dissociative identity disorder (DID) to be exact.

I have ruined relationships, friendships and family relationships because of it. I am plagued by constant, seemingly never ending thoughts that take over my mind and consume me. I am told by my own thoughts I am not good enough, I am unwanted, unloved and am not worth the effort it takes to be around me at times. It is mentally, physically and especially spiritually draining.

I’ve had to learn to rewire my brain to think thoughts “normal” people think. To tell myself I am worthy and most importantly, to give myself the love I didn’t receive growing up.

These are illnesses that affect not only my relationships, but my every day life as well.

There are days I do not want to get out of bed. There are days I don’t want to speak to anyone. There are days I want to bang my head repeatedly against a wall just to get the thoughts to stop. There are days I want to take my own life, just so that I never have to feel again. And it is terrifying.

I have come up short on my own self because of this.

I cannot take and digest the things others can. The truth is one of the hardest things for me. I cannot see beyond my own pain and grief to understand that if only I just changed my thoughts, redirected my energy, I would be OK.

I want people to understand it’s not that simple.

These illnesses have manifested their own person inside me. They have manifested their own dreadful destiny, distinguished by thoughts of self-hatred, self-pity and self-loathing. I only wish people would – or could – understand. In the simplest of terms, I only want to be heard.

When the thoughts are screaming at me, when the emotions make me tremble and plague me with self-doubt, I simply want to be soothed and calmed. I want to be told I will be OK. I want to be told I am OK.

Can you hear me? Do you hear me crying out pleas of sympathy? Can you hear me? Is anyone there?

Please help me.

Living with multiple mental illnesses is both debilitating and sad. I feel sorry for myself because I am not like other people. I am different.

On a funny day, I call it “no chill disorder” because my illnesses cause me to have no chill emotionally. I feel in extremities or not at all.

On a not so funny day, I call it “death of the mind.” I am dying inside and I need help.

But who do I turn to? Where do I run? Because we all know – and know too well – we cannot run from ourselves. So where, in all of this mess, do I go?

If ever you feel afraid of yourself and don’t know where to turn, you are not alone. For I too, deal with that same travesty.

Do not envy my depth, for it is at times unmanageable. Do not admire my vast array of emotions, for they are at times uncontrollable.

Yes, I am strong. I lived for 28 years and have managed to keep myself alive. But do not for a second think my life is easy. I live, love, laugh, hurt and cry multiple mental illnesses. And it is not easy.

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

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

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Originally published: November 22, 2016
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