When You Do(n’t) Suffer From Mental Illness

When you don’t tell people what you go through, it’s like setting yourself up for disappointment from the get-go. You keep your secrets because if they’re too dark for you, you don’t want to drag them down, too. Those secrets start to meld into your identity, to the point where there’s no use in separating them because you lost sight of the differences. If you finally say something like, “I suffer from mental illness,” in front of people you’ve never let into your broken parts, something’s bound to send you spiraling down.

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Stay. Be Found.

In a previous post, I wrote a reflection based on lyrics from Waving Through A Window from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. At the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week, and on World Suicide Prevention Day, it was a starting point where I shared my own struggles to let people know they weren’t alone. Well, the TWLOHA campaign I’ve been talking about a lot officially ended yesterday, but the message must keep traveling to everyone who needs it. Even though official campaigns are coming to an end, the world isn’t fixed and there are still people who feel trapped inside their own heads.

I want to offer an encouraging message alongside the lyrics of You Will Be Found, also from Dear Evan Hansen.

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The Struggle (AKA: Why My Brain Sucks 5)

This is an honest snapshot of what it’s like to feel like you’re trying to fool everyone. I want to illustrate what goes on in my head when I espouse the benefits of living and the words sound hollow in my own ears. These are the times when I wonder if I’m being a hypocrite—encouraging people to smile, to seek help, to live their best life as their genuine self in a do-no-harm fashion, when the clouds descend and I can’t follow my own advice. It isn’t an easy thing to look at, so I’ve put it all under a Read More tag just in case.

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Filling the Gap

…by keeping busy,

coffee ice cream,

playing an MMORPG,

watching YouTube videos,

and trying to cultivate the motivation to clean my room.

These are all things that I try to fill the gap in my chest. It’s a feeling that empties my head of thought and saps me of happiness. I find it hard to express myself genuinely at such times, faking smiles and expressing emotion where there is no basis for either. I feel lonely, yet the thought of seeking out someone to sit next to isn’t something I necessarily want, either. I’m trying out everything that usually makes me happy in order to make myself feel better, but it’s not working—none of it is working. Such things stay in the chasm for a while, but they eventually slip out and I’m left empty again. The joy is fleeting and only lasts a little while.

In these times, I feel like a truly worthless human being.

 

Why My Brain Sucks 2

I spent today trying to convince myself that it was going to be a good day. I had at least gotten my class reading done for today, even though I had totally forgotten about the minor group speech in class. I don’t know how my introduction managed to “blow away” our professor, but I’ll take it. I wasn’t in the mood to do much of anything today, much less talk to other people and present. I know that may sound antisocial, but such is the nonsense of an addled mind—I can be peppy and talkative one day, and run on autopilot anywhere from minutes to hours to a day later.

I asked for an egg and cheese omelette and got mac-n-cheese, instead. Normally this wouldn’t bother people, but for some reason today this had a profound effect. All I could keep thinking were things like: You should have just gone next door for a burger. No, you’ve been eating too many of those; the sandwich stand is healthier. You could have even just asked for the basic pasta+sauce combo and avoided the trouble. It seemed like just another notch in a day I couldn’t put faith into being a good one.

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Why My Brain Sucks

I feel it—the need to complete my work, borne of knowledge and routine. As a college student, this acts as a clock that is always ticking. I know it well, have improved its parts over several years, and since I had to start on an academic schedule that was virtually my own I have felt something else

Procrastination—the desire to do anything but what I am supposed to be doing. At first, I thought it was just a matter of being lazy, of having to get over myself and “hop to it.” I internalized that if I got something done I would feel more motivated to do other things, and that works sometimes. However, it doesn’t work all the time.

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