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When It Feels Like the World Wasn't Made for Someone With a Mental Illness

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I have never felt at home in this world. My brain, to put it simply, is different, which makes it hard for me to function in this universe. I get scared and panicky over stupid stuff. I can be completely calm about things that should scare me. I get sad for no reason.

There’s a voice in my head that constantly reminds me I will never be good enough. A good day can turn quickly and deviously into a nightmare for the smallest reason. It could be anything, a thought, a conversation or a moment of boredom that can trigger an overwhelming feeling of panic and loneliness.

Sometimes, I wish there was another universe out there, a place for people like me to call home. I wish for a place that doesn’t make me feel like I’m something to be put up with and where words to explain what I’m feeling don’t escape me. A place where I am not judged for pitching my tent in darkness and staying awhile. A place where I am welcomed when I find the courage to step into the light again.

Perhaps I’m naïve, but I’m dreaming of a place where tears are not weakness, where living is courage, where to be loved is to be known and where to be known is to be accepted. A glorious reality where I am not broken, but a work of art. A beautiful mosaic with sharp edges and soft curves. A masterpiece of colors dark and deep, pitched against colors both bright and lovely. A one-of-a-kind revelation, a declaration of morning and of night, of hope and of fear, of laughter and of pain.

I know this place doesn’t exist. Perhaps, I am destined to always live in this world, a stranger and a pretender. Maybe I will never been seen as strong for choosing to rise each morning, to live and be in a world that makes me feel like a freak.

I do know I have been gifted with one or two friends who truly get it, who understand I fight demons before I sleep, in my dreams and again when I wake. Friends who listen to me when the words come out awkwardly and garbled. Friends who hug me when the tears fall. They are God’s gift.

They are a wonderful reminder one can be a stranger to this universe and still find a tribe, a band of people who choose to get lost with you and stumble with you through the darkness, until a ray of light is found. These blessed few are the reasons I chose to stay here. For, to find a friend and ally is a sacred thing. To not walk alone is a gift for those who wander in a world not made for them.

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.

Originally published: August 3, 2016
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