They tell you to get up, don’t they? They storm into your room and throw open the curtains. They rip your blankets back and tell you it’s time to quit feeling sorry for yourself. So, like always, you tuck your tail and you rise up out of bed… secretly resenting their presence.
It’s mind over matter, right? If you just get up and get moving you will feel better. As if your mental illness is a fleeting virus.
They tell you that your kids and your family need you. And then they unknowingly shame you for all the ways you aren’t fulfilling your roles in life–and so you begin shutting down even more. Not only are you battling the terrible thoughts in your mind, now you’re battling the guilt of never being good enough. .
But they can’t see. They can’t comprehend your world.
And so you hide.
They tell you all the ways your mental illness affects them, don’t they? Oh, they always do. Always an unconscious jab that you’re causing them stress.
If they could only peek inside your mind for a brief moment… just a split second of your thoughts–then they would realize their own worries live amongst unicorns and rainbows. If they saw inside your mind they would understand you’ve seen a world that would melt their worst nightmares.
You feel some weird and twisted need to comfort them, and so you do just enough to present an acceptable image. This allows you to avoid the shame. But in the quiet moments alone you close your curtains and crawl into bed and you sob. You sob for your family and the pain you cause. You sob for your children and all the ways you aren’t showing up for them. You sob because you have to smile tomorrow and you just don’t have the strength–
but you smile anyway, because it keeps them comfortable.
You laid in your bed today and for one fleeting moment you wished you had some form of cancer. Victims of cancer are viewed as brave, and heroic, and praised for the strength it takes to fight for their life. They’re truly warriors.
According to society they are truly sick. They’re allowed to be bedridden for weeks when their energy is depleted. Cancer patients don’t have individuals throwing the covers off of them and demanding they stand and face the day. They aren’t told that if they would just move around their illness will cure itself.
Cancer patients are allowed to be sick; and it’s understood they will need rest and time to regain their strength.
But you aren’t a cancer patient. And your illnesses makes them uncomfortable.
You’re highly sensitive and intuitive mind allows you to feel the sudden shift of emotion when you try to talk openly about the sickness in your brain. They stare down, don’t they? They always stare down. They get tense and quiet and refuse to look you in the eye until the subject is changed.
The world has taught them to feel uncomfortable–it’s not their fault. It’s not your fault either.
But you slink back into silence–because that’s the easiest option for everyone involved.
You wait for your own form of remission, and you practice your smile. You hide the illnesses that you know will return. They always return, don’t they? This time you will keep it a secret, because maybe then they won’t force you out of bed.
You take your medication, and hide the amount of pills it takes to keep your sanity.
You bless the day and hope for strength, and remind yourself that you can do hard things.
You’ve faced hotter fires than this, and you always come out alive and stronger than before.
You do it alone because it’s easier that way. You do it alone because only you are strong enough to patiently endure the fire long enough to heal. It shouldn’t be that way.