• ❤️Jessica🙏🏼

Out of the Darkness

The thing about mental illness is, it’s invisible. Unlike a broken limb, you can’t see the pain inside someone’s head. We suffer in silence…and it’s fairly “easy” to hide, because we don’t show you what we don’t want you to see. Unfortunately, this just keeps the shame VERY alive. We don’t want you to see it because nobody likes a miserable person. We don’t want you to see it because we don’t want to be your burden. There’s SO much you cannot see.

What you cannot see is:

The intense push/pull and highs/lows inside of my brain due to bipolar disorder. The furiously oncoming, never-ending stream of thoughts that flood my brain every minute of every day. The feeling of absolute insanity that comes with being unable to shut my brain off - ever - including when it’s time to sleep (it’s actually at its worst then). That’s the manic part of me; the racing thoughts, the inability for me to slow the words that are coming out of my mouth, the odd sense of infallibility, the erratic decision making - spending money I DO NOT have - putting myself further into debt, and being so incredibly irritable, I push away the people I love most. In the past…violent behavior.

What you cannot see is:

The demon in my brain telling me no one would care if I was gone. Feeling like there is absolutely no reason to be alive. Recalling every horrible thing that’s ever happened to me…or every horrible thing I’ve done, as evidence that I shouldn’t be here. Driving my car and suddenly having the urge to jerk the wheel into a tree - going 70 miles an hour. That’s my depression; the hopelessness, the feeling of drowning, the inability to fall asleep when it’s appropriate, but not be able to get out of bed - even if it means losing a job or missing out on something that would normally bring me joy, crying so much I should be out of tears, the inability to do anything other than get up to go to the bathroom, and feeling so empty and worthless that my desire to live and succeed is lost somewhere in the darkness.

What you cannot see is:

The shame. The deep loathing of myself and my disease. Me looking in the mirror for so long, I no longer recognize myself. The feeling of my heart actually breaking - this chest expanding, chest crushing, DEEP pain that I can feel moving up to my throat like I’m being choked. My entire body aching, feeling so heavy that any movement is excruciating and exhausting. Being tired - not sleepy - tired. Tired of living. Tired of putting effort into anything. Doing any and everything to avoid speaking to another human being.

What you cannot see is:

The feeling of being completely alone, unworthy of love…unable to even be loved because I’m so broken. The desperation to be a different person. The burning, itching desire to be “normal”…to not be sick. The absolute inability to be happy…I’ve had to fake excitement for gifts or news that should make a person shout from the rooftops. The hatred of my own genetic makeup. Why? Why me? Why was I given the gift of intelligence and self-awareness, with the curse of mental disease. I’d rather be insane and unaware.

Even though you can’t see these things, they’re REAL. They’re painful. They’re scary. NO ONE wants to feel like this. No one wants to want to die. No one would choose this life if given the choice. What do we need? We need you to be there. There’s not really anything you can “do”. You can’t fix us. You can listen, you can show up, you can stand by us. We need your empathy, not your sympathy. We need you to educate yourselves on what mental illness is. We need you to be open to us talking about what we’re experiencing without judgement…without shame. We need the stigma to end. We need you.

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