January 14, 2016

Some mental health awareness for you all. And maybe a rant or two:

I am the face of someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I am the face of someone with Clinical Depression.

I am the face of someone with Anxiety.

I am the face of someone with mental illness.

I am the face of someone who has been brutally violated and attacked more than once.

I am the face of someone who has struggled to find strength to live more than once.

I am the face of someone who has found the will to live more than once.

I am the face of someone who will not get out of bed for days on end because it hurts too much to be alive. I am the face of someone who will lay sleepless at night because there is always something eerie about the silence. I am the face of someone who lets a faceless stranger steal my strength, my comfort, my life.

PTSD is new to me, anxiety is new to me, but Depression has been a friend of mine for as long as I can remember.

Depression and I actually met in middle school, and depression has been the one friend who truly sticks by my side through it all. I remember noticing a distinct change in myself, it was almost as if it happened over night, I woke up one day and I felt like the light had left me. I felt like there was a new pit in my stomach, and it never went away. It stuck with me through the good days and the bad days, even from a distance, I could still feel the strength.. The wrath. The hold it had on me and my life. Depression comes in waves, the bad days always do. High School days got bad, and now when I look back I truly understand how naïve I was. I wasn’t dealt the best hand of cards, but life was pretty fucking great. Little did I know.

I still get waves of immense depression, days where tomorrow doesn’t seem like a possibility. I let myself believe they’re more justified now, but that doesn’t make it any easier. There are countless days where each second feels like another jab. Depression is no game, it consumes you. And then Anxiety comes to join the party and you can feel like you’re fucking drowning. Breathing is a daunting task. Living normally and having to go on with your life is a cruel joke. No one looks at me and sees the pain, the scars apparently aren’t as blatantly obvious to the world as they are to me.

I think my most challenging task I have faced since the series of unfortunate events (the best way to refer to last year), is talking to people about it. The hardest conversations are the ones with loved ones. Individuals who are trying so hard to understand, who want so badly to help. There are many hurdles with the gap of accepting and understanding mental illness. That’s one feat I have yet to beat. Based off of my experience, for the outside world full of plenty of people who have been fortunate enough to not suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. It is extremely challenging to get them to grasp the idea of mental illness. Depression and anxiety especially are so often seen as a choice. I did not choose to have anxiety attacks that put me in the hospital, I did not choose to have suicidal thoughts, nor did I choose to be raped. I did not make up these illnesses, I did not choose to have them, I do not have them because I want attention. If I wanted attention because of them I’d wear a goddamn sign.

The next excruciating conversation, is about my actual rape. It’s when friends and family reach out and say they want to know and they say they want to help. I say I’m fine, I say it’s unnecessary, I do everything to avoid that conversation for many reasons. The main one being, YOU do not want to hear about ME being raped. You do not want to have that story haunt you the way it haunts me. Knowing it happened is enough, knowing the details is suffocating. No one needs to hear that. I don’t even like to hear it, and yet I can’t not hear it. The second reason I avoid that conversation; I see the way it hurts people when you tell them. I don’t want to hurt you more. I waited so long to tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you. It hurts me so very much.

I’m so frustrated with the world today. I’m so frustrated with myself. Thinking about the world, thinking about the series of unfortunate events, thinking about the countless helpless individuals who have endured similar experiences, it all makes me so sad. Like a scream-worthy sad anger.

I know I won’t change the world, but I would like to hope I can help at least one person. Lots of things need to change. Lots of people need a voice, need help. That is what keeps me fighting, knowing that if I don’t, I can’t expect anyone else to.

Before I go, I found a quote the other day that I want to share:

“And she always had a way with her brokenness. She would take her pieces and make them beautiful.”
R.M Drake

I only hope that someday I can make something beautiful out of this big mess. I think I’m on the right track.

XO

The Fighting Fox

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