Year after year I have shared that hashtag with good intentions. “Break the stigma” of mental illness is their goal. This year I thought “what stigma?”.
I haven’t been shy with mentioning my dark days with mental illness, and to be honest, I thought it was becoming a way more acceptable thing to talk about. Last week was tough, I’m happy to say that I generally don’t have too many dark days after learning how to manage my depression, and the help of natural and modern medicine, but sometimes it’s not enough. After a few days of constant crying to my incredibly patient boyfriend I finally broke down and said to him “I have been feeling SO depressed” .. Cue me waiting for him to leave me because I’m “crazy”. He said “I’m sorry babe, is there anything I can do for you?” Seriously?! If I can say one thing that depression and anxiety make me do is overthink things in the stupidest way possible. This is the man that held me when I lost my mind when I couldn’t cut the pita bread evenly earlier that week… I should, in a sane mind, know he will be there for me.
We talked about it for a bit and he was nothing but supportive, yet I still felt SO embarrassed. This is the person I tell my most embarrassing stories, the person I trust with my secrets, yet I was embarrassed to tell him that yes, this week I have fallen back into a state of depression. How fucked up is that? There really is a stigma attached, for me it’s just within myself. I judge me.
I don’t judge anyone based on their mental illness, it’s really none of my business unless they want it to be. And I also don’t feel like I have been judged solely based on mine by anyone but myself. I am the one that makes me feel crazy, I am the one who lets it take a hold of me, I am the one who is afraid to increase a dose of antidepressants because I’m afraid of what others might think.
But if I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that people really don’t give a fuck. I hope that one day soon this can all be in the past. It’s exhausting to get anxious over a phone beeping or a word said in the “wrong” tone, it’s exhausting to have everything in your life go amazing yet still feel so sad. I hope that one day soon I can wake up and be free of these illnesses. But until then, I will do my best to make the negatives into positives and seek love and support when I need it; shame free.