Body dysmorphic disorder is a mean, nasty, debilitating mental disorder that can really destroy you. You constantly obsess over the smallest of “flaws”, a bit too chunky around the thighs, your skin is too spotty, or your hair isn’t luscious enough. This obsession slowly breaks you down, and then starts breaking down your relationships. It’s a persistent niggle in the back of your mind, and its damn near impossible to ignore.
Depression is one of the most difficult things to recognize when you're talking to a person normally, primarily because there are so many different ways that people can react to having depression. Some become hyper-extroverted. Others become totally withdrawn. Even more, don't realize they are depressed because they become numb.
It slithers. Slipping into your room in the night while your eyes remain closed and your breathing is at a steady rhythm. While a collection of rapid images flutter beyond closed eyelids, ones made to either bring joy or adventure, Its cold fingers pinch at the fabric of your sheets. Its blazing breath, rancid and foul, coats along your skin until seeping into your pours. Before you know it, you've absorbed It, and you do not understand the true terror that ensues once you open your eyes.
I am a 24 year old female. On the outside I've lived a pretty normal life, inside I have lived with a demon since the age of 7. That was the year my first, and only, sibling was born, that was also the year I was diagnosed with depression. This was the first sign of the demon. He consumed my every being, I don't exactly remember, but I can see it when I go back and look at pictures. At every turn he was there, waiting until I was most vulnerable. I would cry myself to sleep not knowing why, I would imagine what it would be like to kill myself and have my family find me, I would dream the most horrible dreams of my parents giving me away because they were "tired of me." Life was hell on the inside. On the outside, however, I was the perfect Christian. I babysat for almost every family in my hometown church, I saved money, I was always kind and used manners, no one knew. I was able to keep a lid on him until I was 9. I had horrible dreams of the Demon crawling inside of my head and trying to eat me, so one night I cut my hair off. My mom was horrified, but I couldn't explain why I did it, so it was dismissed.
It's the empty pit that lies between my stomach and chest. It's the short, inconsistent breaths that keep me feeling as if I'm drowning on dry land. It's the voices in my head repeating the same insults day in and day out. It's the way I can't look in a mirror without hiding the pieces of myself that I hate. It's the crying that happens when no one is looking. It's the incoherent screams for the pain to go away. It's anxiety.
In the morning it hits me like an intense bolt of lightning, that feeling of despair hitting every corner of my weak mind. Every thought pushing into the little optimism I have left, every morsel of hope, shattered by the incoming droves of demons, with their gleeful smirks and power to create such torment. And there’s me standing, looking at the sky, wishing it would swallow me up.
I have decided to document my mental health journey in an online format so hopefully at least one person can benefit from this. If this helps one person know that they are not alone then I will have achieved something and regardless I will (hopefully) have a fully realized journal of my mental health struggles.
Now, to begin with, I'm a sufferer of various layers of depression. That dark, sinking illness engulfing you in the unwanted embrace of numbness I like to call"The Void." We could go on forever describing all the possible adjectives associated with that awful sickness but we all know what we really want — coping mechanisms. I'm here to bestow what I've learned about how to tame the beast that I've lived with for many, many years.
Like most people, whilst cleaning I get lost in thought. Perhaps unlike most other people, however, one thought is always attached to another. My mind is comparable to a tangled ball of yarn. It's impossible for me to pull one thread loose without tugging out another one along with it.