If you are in Canada then you know today is “Bell Let’s Talk day”, and it’s an important day to many of us. I try to stay away from just tweeting justnonsense, as I do want people to learn and accept mental illness as something that isn’t to be feared.
I have a mental illness, and I’ve come to accept it and work daily to keep myself from getting worse. I have a severe anxiety disorder, which has developed from the numerous medical issues I have had in my life, and years of abuse, so I try to gain that loss of control back, which generally just causes me to feel more anxious. Most people tell me that they find this surprising, as seem to be a very calm person, so obviously I am good at hiding it. We all feel anxiety, but when you allow your fears and emotions to control your every decision, and panic over the smallest things, constantly focus on small details about the future, or obsess about it, then like me you may have a problem. I get anxious when I have too much to do in a week, too little to do, whether I should go out for dinner, or eat at home, and worst, that I am having too much fun or too little fun in a week. Some of you may be thinking that my anxiety is something I should control, get over, because we all have it, and that’s true we do, but not everyone lives with stress constantly. I’ve only ever been able to reduce it, never lose the constant feelings of anxiety or stress. I don’t know why I am this way, and sometimes I don’t care. I work to keep it in check, and that is a victory to me, keeping it in check, then I am not constantly running back to check that I turned off the stove, closed my door, and not missing the bus because of these actions (this almost happened this morning).
I’m also dealing with a condition known as “cancer rage”, which may sound odd as I never made it to a stage of cancer, only precancerous changes, but it more comes from all the tests I’ve had to go through, not knowing what the tests would say, and just the fear and anxiety that a biopsy can cause. The ladies at the support group totally get feeling like this, and have let me know it’s totally normal for anyone with dysplasia or full blown cancer to feel. I’m writing about it now because I am going through it as this very moment, one person disrespects me, no one seems to care, and then boom! for the rest of the day if anyone looks at me funny, or talks to me rudely, it builds exponentially, and I feel I will explode in some fashion. I hate feeling like this, and how upset I get, but I am told only time will help with the rages. I’ve even gotten so upset by people breathing near me, or not leaving on time for something,and I know it’s unrealistic and damaging to me, but I can’t help but obsess about these situations.
One day I’ll speak more about my bouts with major depression, as they are stories within themselves.
Let’s start being more accepting of differences we can’t see, and more helpful to people who could use a kind word. And realistically, you won’t have a clue what the person might be going through unless you suffer from it too (and even then you don’t understand what it is like for that person, just for yourself). Don’t be afraid to be who you are, whatever that means personality wise, mentality wise, and in how you look. Be more inclusive, not exclusive!