mental health

If you know me, you know I’m a very open person, and I can be pretty nonchalant about subjects that not everyone is so keen to discuss. Part of it is my way of masking the issues I deal with, but another big part of it is my way of making sure people know that there are people who understand what they’re going through. I know there are a lot of people who get uncomfortable when talking about mental health, and I get that. I get that some people are easily triggered, and some people get emotional easier than others. But, I also understand that when I was at my worst, all I needed was someone who could empathize with me and relate to me on a deeper level than just saying something vague and one dimensional.
When you’re battling any sort of mental health issue, it honestly does feel like you’re alone in amongst all of those nasty thoughts circulating in your psyche.
I’m going to begin this by giving an honest summary of everything that I’ve overcome, and of course, issues I’m still working on. I’ve dealt with depression since I was about twelve or thirteen. A lot of my sadness comes from the fact that I was adopted and neglected by my biological parents for years, but some of it also is just chemistry.
When I was at my all-time low, I led a very textbook-depression-life. I was home a lot, with the lights off, not really doing anything. I never felt motivated to do anything, including my schoolwork, and I didn’t apply myself too much. I didn’t feel the need to go out of my way to make friends, and I didn’t have a good relationship with my parents. I pushed away everyone who became too close to me, out of fear that they’d dislike me, hurt me, or abandon me. It was an extremely unhealthy way to live my life, and I never felt fulfilled. I think the biggest thing that I needed was someone who shared the same feelings that I did, and I never really got that. I tried inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy, and I sought support groups. I felt better for the time being, and a lot of it was staged because I just wanted to be released from these programs. But deep down, I never felt “normal.”
I struggled with self-harm for about two years, and I’m proud to say that I haven’t had thoughts of hurting myself in two years. For anyone who also has had their battles with self-harm, you know that this is a huge mountain to overcome and I’m here to tell you its possible.
I’ve also dealt with problems involving “normal” eating patterns. I’m not going to say I had an eating disorder, because I wouldn’t call it that. I never sought help for this the way I so desperately needed help for depression, but I will admit that there have been countless times I’ve told myself I shouldn’t eat or have purged what I did eat. As a teenage girl growing up in the time period where all you see is skinny girls living their best lives, you can’t help but see being thin as a way to be happier. I hate to say that my depression made me want to restrict what I ate, but it totally did. I saw it as a way to become happy, and I can’t even tell you how wrong I was. I was miserable, tired, and hungry.
What worked the most for me is journaling. I know this sounds odd, and a little transparent, but it honestly did help me see growth in the battles I wanted to win. I started writing down my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and daily struggles in 2014. I still do it to this day, and it not only helps to actually write everything down to vent, but it’s also a fantastic feeling to look back and read old entries to see how far I’ve come. It gives you a reliable source of improvement and is something I would recommend to anyone dealing with anything that is holding them back from pretty much anything.
I would also tell anyone who struggles the way I did to pray. Mental illness is a terrible demon to live with, and I would not wish the struggles I’ve overcome on my worst enemy. It’s noteworthy to say that God is always there. Even if you don’t believe in a specific God, it’s still mighty to put your worries, troubles, and demons out into the universe. God gives His toughest battles to His strongest warriors. I live by this quote. Seriously. It helps me provide a reason for why I, of all the people in the world, have this specific hardship. It’s only making me stronger. It’s just helping me grow as a person.
Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or anything else that hinders you from living your best life, I can say with full confidence that you are not alone, and you never will be. You will overcome this. You will feel like yourself again. You will be great.
All my love,
XO Chloe.

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