Here’s what I, a sufferer of a mental illness, want to tell you
Content warning: home truths
I’m angry. I feel deserted by society, and I’m angry. People keep claiming they don’t understand mental illness until a designated day of the year, or until some pretty celebrity writes something on Instagram. So here, I plan to make you understand it, once and for all:
• You don’t understand. You never will.
• Having a social media account does not qualify you to talk about this.
• Posting pretty quotes does nothing.
• I am not crazy, I am not desperate for attention and I am not the problem. I am a sick woman.
• Anyone can say that life has its ups and downs. I doubt any of you really know what it’s like for life to feel downright unliveable.
• Telling me about your bad day last week is fine, but it does not cure me. Stop acting like it does.
• I need the medication.
• I’m not selfish, stupid or a coward for attempting to take my own life. How dare you. I was desperate, I was frightened and I wanted a way out. You wouldn’t say those things if I’d managed it. How fucking dare you. Imagine understanding so little that you see it fitting to make such presumptions.
• I’m not just sad, I’m in an abyss of blackness. I get chased by the same demon every day. It tries to run me off the earth. No part of me wants to be here. It’s a battle to get out of bed. Smiling feels uncomfortable. Being in public sometimes feels painful. I feel like a stain, sometimes. I’d miss who I used to be if I could even remember who that was. My energy feels sapped and my heart feels shattered. I’m not just sad.
• I’m not your bible of reasons to care about people. If you don’t care about me then I don’t care about you.
• Don’t tell me that you’re not a mental health professional. I know that.
• If you degrade, belittle or humiliate others and yet still have the nerve to talk about how important looking after mental health and being kind is, then you’re the fucking scum of the earth.
• It’s not one rule for some and different rules for another. Mental illnesses manifest themselves differently in everyone, but everyone that has them needs to be shown the same kindness.
• This is not beautiful.
• This is not tragic.
• If you can only relate to it when it has a pretty or a famous face then you’re part of the problem.
• Yes, I am very negative, because it’s kind of hard to be positive when, you know, your mind is a black hole of reasons why you shouldn’t be here.
• Saying “be positive”, “stay strong” and any shit about a caterpillar becoming a butterfly is sweet and all but it does nothing.
• You know nothing about me.
• I know nothing about other people’s mental health. I am not a mental health bible.
• If you won’t be there for me when things get messy (because this is a chemical imbalance and they will) then don’t fucking bother.
• I don’t care if you think that everyone has anxiety.
• If you’re gonna to be an edgelord and tell me to stop being a snowflake then please get out of my life before you even come into it.
• This isn’t some club you can get a paid membership for, and even if it was then trust me, you wouldn’t want to.
• I’m allowed to have bad days, just as much as you are. If you can understand it in a non-mentally ill person but can’t in someone like me then you’re part of the problem.
• We do need to start talking about it because we all know that we can’t possibly carry on like this.
• If I have to cry then I will.
• This is not caused by social media, music or not drinking enough water.
• Say something sensible or shut the FUCK up.
• This is a mask and jokes are a coping mechanism.
• This is actually really hard.
• It doesn’t matter what time I got up, I have every right to be tired. Everyone does.
• Nothing is more terrifying than spending every day with a body that wants to live and a mind that wants to die.
• This isn’t “I’ve been feeling a little low lately” (that’s fine too because it happens). This is “save me. Or don’t. I’m not sure I care anymore…”
I originally published this story to Medium on March 15th under the same title.