This week my therapist asked me if I have accepted my mental illnesses.
Have I? Has anyone?
I can think of hundreds of different ways to say the insanity that is my brain but the one thing I don’t want to say is the branding neon sign:
I have a mental illness.
In fact, I have a few.
Just saying I have mental illness sounds like I am making a disclaimer to the world.
I have PTSD. It causes me to have triggers from everyday things like airplanes, buttered noodles, the smell of gasoline. It causes me to have flashbacks that send me to a time over 10 years ago. It causes me to forget that I am a 22 year old and puts me in the mental state of a terrified 8 year old.
I have Depression. It causes me to not want to get out of bed because I can feel the weight of my life laying down on me. It causes me to feel like nothing good will ever happen in my life. It causes me to forget to eat because I don’t feel hunger, I don’t feel anything.
I have Anxiety. It causes me to cancel plans with my friends because I am afraid to leave my house. It causes me to feel scared of irrational things. It causes my heart rate to rise and feel like the air has been sucked out of my body.
I am a recovered Anorexic who still has the every day battle to go back to my old ways because it is so inviting.
There are parts of my past, the darkest parts of my mind, that haunt me every day. Days are often slow trudges up a mountain covered in quick sand. Some days I want to give up.
I claim my PTSD, my Anxiety, my Depression. I claim the darkest parts of my mind because they got me to sit down and write about what people often times want to brush under the rug. I have a love hate relationship with my mind but I never want to be any one else.
I am strong and I am weak. I still sleep with my baby blanket and I will stand up for what I believe in. I hate so many parts of myself but I love all the broken pieces. My life is a disclaimer because so many people don’t stand up and talk about mental illness like it is normal. It is normal though.