Today is World Mental Health Day and I want you to know, that it’s okay not to be okay. I have wrestled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, PTSD, Depression, Binge Eating Disorder and Harm OCD for many years now. Sometimes one replaces the other or they all hit at once. My mental illness is a shapeshifter, a manipulative dark mist that rolls in and causes my mind to play tricks on my body. I have periods of time where it gets pretty bad. Its like I’m stumbling around in a dark unfamiliar place that I can’t find my way out of. But I also have beautiful days, weeks and months where I feel like I can finally breathe again. I can enjoy the sunshine and nature and the beautiful little moments that life gives us. I am so thankful for those times that my mind and body are at rest.
Recently my mind has been loud. There have been more dark days where I feel like I can’t catch my breath. I feel trapped in a loope of endless WHAT IF’s. I convince myself that I’m going to drop dead or end up permanently crazy. Fear and panic take over and all I can do is hide and shake and pace, waiting for what seems like an eternity for the adrenaline to leave my body. I want someone with me but I don’t want to be touched. This restlessness causes me to feel like I am a burden on my family and friends. It’s exhausting. knowing that this is something that will always be apart of me is overwhelming at times. I will have to do battle over and over again but I have to remind myself and sometimes be reminded by others that they are in battle with me, fighting for me when I’m weak. Every time I make it through I become stronger.
I’m so thankful for those who stand with me, who love me and let me know that I’m not a burden. They remind me that I can break through the darkness because I’ve done it so many times before. Everyone needs someone to do battle with them. For those of you struggling with a mental illness you are not a burden, you are loved, you are worthy and you are stronger than you realize. I’m rooting for you. It’s okay not to be okay.