What You Need to Hear on Your Darkest Days with Mental Illness

It’s 2022, and I refer to 2013 as being 7 years ago. I don’t know where the time went and when I start to think about it, it’s all a blur, as if I have been on autopilot. In the last few years I have endured *hopefully* the most painful, darkest, and most grueling moments in my life.

I have found a dose of clarity through these words and thoughts. Hopefully, you do too! I would love to know which ones you felt resonated with you most.

The Brain Is an Organ. Mental Health Conditions Are an Illness of That Organ.

Brain scans show that there is a physical difference between a healthy brain and a sick brain. Telling someone “you’re not really sick. It’s all in your head” is like telling someone with asthma “it’s not real, it’s all in your lungs.” The brain is an organ that can malfunction as much as any other organ.

Photo by Yuyeung Lau on Unsplash

Sometimes you just want to talk about your severe mental illness because you need some consolation and emotional support. When you’re seeking practical answers to your difficulties, you might wish to talk about your mental illness. You want to talk about your bad mental illness things sometimes because you’re trying to understand and process it.

Sometimes you just want to talk about your terrible, horrible, no-good mental illness awfulness because it’s eating you up inside and you need to be able to put words to it and have at least one other living soul understand what you’re going through without pitying you, offering comfort, or attempting to fix you.

And unfortunately, when you give yourself permission to be honest and bother people, and the words start pouring out, or forcing themselves out one by one with no particular pace or rhythm, it can be hard to articulate which of these you really need.

Sadly, finally finding your voice just to have the other person entirely misinterpret you and question just why you had to speak can make you feel more alone than ever before.

But the good news is, these difficulties are not insurmountable. People listen and people learn, and it’s amazing how deep the understanding between two people can grow with time, patience, and effort.

“You’re probably going to hurt a little every time you manage to open up, and you’re probably going to get hurt a lot when no one hears what you’re trying your best to ask for, but don’t stop trying. Please, don’t stop trying.” — winterwombat

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

Wise Words From a Therapist

A therapist taught me to interrupt my anxious thinking with thoughts like: “what if things work out” and “what if all my hard work pays off?”

So, I’m passing that onto you, wherever you are, whatever you’re leaving, or whomever you’re becoming.

Photo by Ann Danilina on Unsplash

What counts is who you choose to be now, not who you were yesterday. You are not your errors. You are not your misfortunes. You are not defined by your history. You are not your scars. You have the ability to make new choices today and at any time. Keep it in mind. With each breath, you are given a fresh chance to think, select, decide, and act in a way that allows you to be all that you are capable of becoming. You are not inferior. You are sufficient.

Photo by PartTime Portraits on Unsplash

Mental Illness Is NOT:

  • A choice
  • Attention seeking
  • An insult or an adjective
  • Something you can “snap out of”
  • A crime
  • A weakness
  • A flaw in character
  • Laziness
  • Fake or “all in their head”
  • An excuse
  • Funny or a joke
  • Trendy or cool
  • “Just a phase”
  • The same for everyone
  • Less important than other illnesses
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Depression isn’t always crying your mascara off in the shower and playing sad songs in bed. Sometimes it’s not wanting to talk to anyone for days and other times it’s desperately needing to be around people. Sometimes depression is having no appetite even though you haven’t eaten anything since yesterday and sometimes it’s eating everything you have in the fridge. Depression isn’t your boyfriend holding you and telling it’s going to be OK. It’s sitting across the table, not eating, having him ask you what’s wrong, and knowing that you’re ruining his night because you can’t seem to snap out of it and just be happy. It’s the frustrating feeling of desperately wanting to enjoy something and just fucking be normal for once. It’s keeping things a secret from the people you love because you don’t want them to look at you like you’re broken. No, depression isn’t beautiful black and white images. Depression is lonely and frustrating and mostly just fucking exhausting. — Midnight Thoughts.

About the author: Alexis Turner
Hello there! I am proud dog owner in my 30's. My doctor told me that I have "HD" I don't know what that means, but I got 80 of 'em!

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