#3: Sometimes I have to hit the bottom before I can rise again.

Photo by Julian Howard on Unsplash

Words by Anonmyous  | Age 48

What mental illness(es) are you currently living with?

Depression and anxiety.

What’s one thing you want others to know about your mental illness?

That it can be a daily or moment by moment struggle. But, there is much to be learned from that struggle, because there is progress. You are learning something about yourself and how you respond to events. I am slowly learning that feelings are just that: feelings.

They are temporary.

I struggle with negative thoughts a lot. Sometimes I have to hit the bottom before I can rise again. I take each day as it comes.

What’s one thing you’re seeking to unlearn about the mental illness(es) you live with?

I’d like to unlearn the idea that your illness is you. I have identified for years with my depression, and I’ve consequently described myself as a depressed person. So when I felt happy I would have a go at myself, telling myself I had no right to be happy because I was a depressed person.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who loves a person living with a mental illness, and wants to support them?
Not to run away from it, but to run to it, to question it, and understand it. I spent years running away from my pain through drugs, and isolation. I still do sometimes. But I found when you understand something a little better, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

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ABOUT THE SERIES

There’s someone that needs to hear that mental illness doesn’t define us. There’s a lot of noise out there about who we are and what we’re capable of. But, we get to speak for ourselves. That’s why this series exists. It’s a small but meaningful addition to Mental Health Awareness MonthStorytelling can break chains and make us feel less alone. Our truths can help others see the other side of a thing, of a person. Our stories can help someone feel a little more empowered, and a little more hopeful. Each series storyteller was brave enough to share a piece of their truth.

To view more stories from the series, visit the series homepage.