Words by Anonymous
What mental illness(es) are you currently living with?
Anxiety with symptoms of dissociative disorder. I’ve been unable to get out of bed for the last couple of weeks.
What’s one thing you want others to know about your mental illness?
I’ve only been going to therapy for about 8 months now and honestly, I haven’t told anyone about it. My parents don’t know and I’ve mentioned therapy to a few friends but no details have been shared.
I’m still carrying a ton of shame about it and I worry that if I tell people, they’ll think I’m weak. I’m working on it, but my response to any kind of feelings right now is either to spiral out or completely shut down.
I don’t feel in control of myself.
I’d like people to know that I’m still me but sometimes I just need a little kindness that I haven’t learned to give myself yet.
What’s one thing you’re seeking to unlearn about the mental illness(es) you live with?
I want to unlearn this philosophy of “suck it up and get to work” that I’ve been fed since I was a child. It makes it really tough to be nice on myself on bad days.
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?
Just be open to listening to them. Even if it’s uncomfortable, just listen, don’t offer solutions, don’t tell them about some cousin of your’s who fought depression by going to the gym or having a baby or something. Just listen.
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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 Month. Storytelling 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.