Friday 26 May 2017

What I Wish My Friends Knew About My Struggle With Mental Illness

What I Wish My Friends Knew About My Struggle With Mental Illness depression OCD anxiety help support panic attacks uni school teenager mental health wellbeing

 For all those lessons I've walked out of. For all those days where I've blanked you and for all those where I have been so hyper I've been bouncing off the walls. I'm sorry. For the times you saw me cry my eyes out over nothing or the times I've been too anxious, too out of touch with reality, to understand what's going on around me. I'm sorry. 

I'm not a reliable or dependent friend. As Forest Gump once said; life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. I guess I'm that box of chocolates. You don't know if first thing on Monday morning, I'm going to be happy and cheery or coming in crying from a panic attack. You don't know if by Wednesday I will talk to you or if I'll blank you yet again. 

Most people have mastered the art of hiding and covering up emotions in public places. If they are feeling sad or anxious, they will push it under the carpet until they are home and cry there. But not me. When you struggle with your mental health, there comes a time where you get sick of putting on a play every day to fit in with everyone else because that's what you think you have to do. Because that's what others do.

I feel things a lot more than most people. If I'm happy, you will know about it. If I'm anxious, you will know about it, and if I'm upset, you will definitely know about it. This Jekyll and Hyde personality is exhausting. Not only for myself but for everyone else around me. You don't know if today's going to be a good or bad day when you line up to class with me. Whereas most are able to conceal their bad days, you will almost certainly be dragged into mine. 

But please understand that I'm not doing this on purpose. I'm not doing this for attention or for sympathy. I know it may seem that way sometimes but I can promise you anything, I'm not. One minute I'm on top of the world, and half an hour later I'm crying my eyes out for no reason. This artificial behaviour isn't an act or a show. It's just me living my life out daily with complex mental health problems.

I know sometimes I'm a hindrance, a burden on your day. I'm unpredictable and arduous. But I promise if you give me a chance, I can be a lot of fun. I'm kind, caring and incredibly understanding. I only ever want the best for everyone else. Which often means I neglect myself and my own needs. Which never works out well in the end. 

I know sometimes you would rather not talk to me. I'm that weird girl who struggles to make conversation sometimes because even though I'm desperately trying to listen to what you're saying. Sometimes I can't even hear myself over the screaming OCD or depression bully inside of my head, telling me what I can and can't do. I know I can come across as rude or unfriendly sometimes. But I promise you I'm not. I try my hardest every day, but sometimes my mental illnesses get the better of me.

What I Wish My Friends Knew About My Struggle With Mental Illness happiness health wellbeing mental health OCD anxiety depression panic attacks help support

Sometimes I have good mental health days. These days can be really good subsequently my mood elevates, and I become very hyper and a bit crazy. I feel like my head is spinning at a million miles an hour. All I want to do is go for a run around the field to burn all this excess energy but I can't I'm stuck in a classroom, trying to work in silence. Let's be honest it's not going to happen. 

This often results in be talking a lot. A lot of nonsense, to be honest. I laugh a lot, I'm quite obnoxious, and I have a lot of weird, creative ideas. Sometimes these polar opposite moods occur every few days, but most of the time I fluctuate between these two extremes multiple times a day. I often feel like a yo-yo. Someone's playing me, and I'm going up and down, and I don't have any control over it. 

Underneath these rapid mood swings, I promise I'm gentle, kind and loving. I'm not dangerous or rude. I just have complex mental health problems, and as society slowly starts to understand that mental illnesses are very real illnesses, their attitudes and understanding towards those who struggle with their mental health will change in due course.

I wouldn't always want to be friends with me either sometimes. I definitely wouldn't want me in one of my classes. I know how weird I can look and much of a disruption my behaviour can be to lessons. What's important is that you know I'm not doing it for attention or for sympathy. Just like physical illnesses, it can be really hard to manage mental illnesses all the time. 

Please be patient with those who struggle with their mental health. We are doing are best.

Thanks for reading, as always X 

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