journey to recovery · mental health · mental health blogger · mental illness · personal journey · Uncategorized

Life is Like a Roller-coaster

It’s easy to pretend you’re okay when inside you’re dying. It’s easy to put a smile on your face, to laugh at people’s jokes and to join in with conservation. People notice the laughs, the smiles, the participation. What they don’t notice is how your smile stops when everyone isn’t looking, how the laughter slowly dies out, how even though you’re present your mind is elsewhere. Mental illness is silent on the outside, but inside its screaming. Doing the opposite of what you feel is extreme strength. It can be easy to fake a smile, or to laugh at a joke. It’s easy. But it’s not easy to hide the pain, the frustration, the fear or the loneliness. It takes so much strength to function each day, to even breathe, but we do it – because we have to. We hide everything we feel because we have no choice. We have no choice because people judge. They judge before they know the story. “Oh, she’s sad again.” “She’s just attention seeking.” “We’ll just ignore it.” You don’t want to appear vulnerable, attention seeking, a liar, insane or annoying.

You don’t want to destroy anyone else so you hold it all inside where it destroys you.

I’m talking about mental illness. I’m talking about the performance that we put on in order to hide the truth. Sometimes we admit that we’re feeling down, suicidal or scared. But this confession is only a sample of what we are actually feeling. We won’t tell you everything because we’re scared of your reaction.

However, there are warning signs – small enough that if you don’t look close enough you’ll never see them.

The glazed over eyes, the staring at nothingness – an indication that we’re present but not aware. We’re here physically but mentally we’re elsewhere. The rocking, the twisting of hands, clenching, fast chest movements, constant body movements – an indication of being uncomfortable, upset, unsettled, scared, worried…the list goes on. The scars, the ‘dots’ that look very similar to spots, scratches, bruises, broken bones – an indication of emotional outburst, a breakdown, a meltdown, a release of emotion or anger. The smiles and laughs that end suddenly, that don’t quite reach the eyes, drooping of the eye lids and relaxed body movements – an indication of trying for too long, tiredness and exhaustion. Avoiding social interaction, not getting out of bed, constantly sleeping, disappearing for hours, days or weeks for unexplained reasons – an indication of being so exhausted mentally that physically your body won’t function, staying in bed or your room where you feel safe but cry constantly for being alone.

Mental Illness is no walk in the park. It’s a roller-coaster that continues to claim lives.

Mental Illness isn’t loud. The reason you didn’t hear it is because you weren’t listening. Look around you, open your ears, and you just might see it.

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3 thoughts on “Life is Like a Roller-coaster

  1. Beautifully written, so honest and so heartbreaking. It is so incredibly silent, and so lonely. The isolation that we feel… I hope you can take gentle care of yourself today sunshine

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  2. I am very touched by your soul. You truly have an incredible insight of your soul for being so young. I am 53 and I could have not word it any better. I think you are incredibly courageous for opening up your soul this way. I suffer greatly from chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, heart problems, blood pressure, thyroid, obesity and more. I have tried to also be open by coming out with my sexual abuse experience as a child, and my family and few acquaintances totally shut me down and treated like a hateful negative person and the rest, ignored me for the most part as if I didn’t exist. Only a handful of people showed me a brief but very appreciated support. That took a lot of courage for me to come out, and I am glad I did in a way because at least it has cleared my life of the hypocrisy of people and I can move on. I don’t recommend people to be open up unless you have a support system or the strength of a superhero, which I have to say you do have the strength of a superhero. That being said, we all have our weak days because that is part of the human condition, but when its all said and done, here you are…. standing tall and reaching out. My experience made me loose faith in humanity, but I think its more like it made me loose faith in my family, my perfect religious God worshiping loving and Christian family, because my abuser still preaches in church and has had an incredible support system. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that I abused him, by the way people (mostly women) protect him. I have chronic fatigue, depression and I am full of scars and rashes, I am very accident prone, always injuring myself to the point I end up in the ambulance and have no support system. I am totally dependent on my husband, and believe me he doesn’t let me forget it. My husband and my adult son abuse me, spit on me and humiliate me in every way, scream degrading curse words for all my neighbors to hear, fat shame me every chance and even take pictures of me to ridicule me and show others. I stay in this nightmare because I have no friends, money or family that care and my health and energy is non-existent to make it on my own. Before I married, I was thin and considered pretty and was very active. After I had my son, like an idiot, I left everything to dedicate myself to my family. At this time I am working hard to become financially independent and to better my health, since my health in non-existent, but its not easy when I can hardly have the strength to do the basic. If you saw me, you would never know any of this and I wouldn’t have it any other way, specially after how I have been treated after I exposed my sexual abuse. Is like you said here, this is a very private matter because people are so judgmental. People panic at the slightest indication of pain or weakness. I have had a good share of people shame me for my loneliness as if it was a scarlet letter. That is one of the reasons that I keep to myself and avoid social situations and people take it as I am snotty despite all my obvious health problems. I guess its easier for some people to vilify people in need, that way they could justify the fact that they really just don’t care, something they will never admit. I also avoid social situations because I attract people that just want to use me and I just don’t have strength for that drama anymore. I have so little energy that I just use it to better myself and that is why I don’t socialize. I rather be alone than have MORE toxic people in my life. Please know that you have inspired me to join a support group as of today. I am in the process of moving and I am beside myself with exhaustion. But as soon as am able to recuperate, I will join a support group. I will find the strength somehow. I am determined to overcome this agony and start a new life with human people around me. Life is very unfair and it wears you down. I think is so important for people like us to unite and support each other. Thanks for doing this blog. I am at awe at how you have so much courage, I hope I can continue to learn from you. I wish you all the best!!!

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