Things People Need to Realize about Mental Illness

It isn’t just us being lazy. It isn’t being tired or weak willed or grumpy. It isn’t us just not wanting to try or change. They are called mental illnesses for a reason. 

 

It is being so weak and tired and powerless that simply breathing takes all of your energy. It is never being able to see your worth or trust what others say about you if it is at all positive. It’s a blinder, a film, that cast a shadow on your life, that makes you a shell of yourself. It’s being on edge if someone so much as looks at you. It’s not being able to think, to breath, to even make your blood pump through your body when put in a situation you can’t handle. 

 

It is trying again and again and again. It is failing every second of every day and starting over right after with no success. It is being plagued with thoughts and voices and dreams that you can’t escape from. It’s not sleeping, but never waking up: always wishing you weren’t here, weren’t this. It’s starving and eating everything. It’s screaming and fighting and crying, yet you are still and silent: staring at nothing and everything. It’s feeling too much and nothing at all. It’s being numb. It’s being worthless. It’s feeling like you are nothing. It’s wishing you were nothing. 

 

It isn’t lack of trying or want and need or care. It isn’t being wrong and different and useless (even if that is how we see ourselves.) It isn’t thinking everyone else is worthless because we hide or flinch or mentally can’t cope with your problems and thoughts and feelings and presence. It’s us not being able to hear or understand you or retaining the information but twisting it inside ourselves to make it worse for ourselves. It’s feeling like you don’t need us: don’t want us. It’s feeling that you deserve better than anything we could give you. It’s pushing you away because in reality all we want is for you to listen and care and understand and make us believe your words which is something we will never be able to do. 

 

We have illnesses. We are hurt and hurting and we feel. We feel so much it destroys us. 

 

Just because you can’t see the blood, can’t hear the screams, just because we aren’t showing it like you would a cold doesn’t change that we are sick. That we need help. That we aren’t just seeking attention and not listening when you tell us how to ‘fix’ this or how to feel. Words don’t always just work. Instructions don’t always just work. We need reassurance and consistent and companionship and for you to listen if we open up even if it’s the same thing over and over again because it doesn’t just go away. They aren’t passing thoughts. We aren’t just sad and upset. 

 

People need to understand this. Understand that if we get better it is a long, arduous process that requires genuine help and will never fully go away and is always prone to come back. They need to understand this is who we are because we are human and us and we will always have this in ourselves. They need to understand that offhanded comments and looks can be worse than anything we do to ourselves and sometimes we aren’t the only ones who hurt us. They have to understand that sometimes it’s on them too. 

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