I think as someone who has struggled with a mental illness for a long time now, one of my day to day challenges is figuring out how not to feel ashamed about it. And personally I am so sick and tired of feeling like I need to hide it from people, when I don’t. But what I would say is my biggest challenge is that I don’t always know which voice inside of me is speaking. Which voice is making me feel this way, act this way, do the things that I’m doing and say the things that I’m saying.
There’s my normal voice, the one that allows me to act normally and be who I truly am and act like I want to. The one that lets me act rationally and do things such as shower, realise when I am too warm or cold, eat and do things that basically keep me alive. Or there’s my illness which will tells me I’m not enough. That I’m a disappointment. This part of my brain defies logic and it goes against how I would usually feel or act. Once it told me something bad would happen every time I tried to do things that a normal functioning human being would do. That I would throw up if I ate anything more than the minimum. At some point it told me that even that was too much. That part of my brain is my disease and there was a time where that part of me had absolute authority over me. Where I wouldn’t eat and I would shut people out and allow this part of me to tell me I didn’t deserve to be loved, didn’t deserve to be healthy, didn’t deserve to be happy.
Sometimes I feel as though I am being dramatic by saying that in the past this part of me could have killed me. Other times I don’t think I am. And even this far in to my recovery it still finds insidious ways to torture me, to control me, to make me second guess myself. In all honesty my recovery to this point has been absolutely exhausting. It’s taken therapy, mental care, a supportive family, friends and everyone around me. I survived. I’m still surviving. And I want to thank everyone (they might not even be aware) for helping me as much as they did for just being there.
But that’s not the point of all of this. I don’t just want to survive that part of my life. I want to survive it all. I want to create a war. A rebellion. I want to stop looking at the clocks and being so tied down by worrying I’m running out of time. I want to scream in the face of my disease and say I AM ENOUGH. I AM LOVED. I AM HAPPY. I AM OKAY.
But at the end of the day it’s just not that easy. Because sometimes I still find myself being pushed by an invisible taskmaster who is working me to the point of exhaustion and whispering that everything I do still isn’t good enough. The voice of my disease clings on to me and is with me every single day. But I am practiced at ignoring it (for the most part) but it is always finding new ways to undermine me.
Because anyone can move on. Survive. Fight. Win. But when it comes to completely moving on?
I guess it’s just not that easy.