I Wrote a Diary While Suffering Mental Illness... It's Now a Published Book
Use the Things That Break Us to Build
Excessive alcohol intake.
Screw the world attitude.
Moved out at eighteen.
Through my teenage years, the world has labelled me, in more ways than I can count. I have labelled myself in so many ways, that I could (and did) write a book on it. There are endless ways in which I feel the world, and the people in it have broken me. There are endless reasons as to why I am the way that I am. There are endless feelings and thoughts that circle my mind, both day, and all night, as I lie awake with insomnia. The problem is, I'm not one of these talky-talky people. I'm not open, because people have taken advantage of that trust and destroyed it. Regardless, I knew I needed some form of escape if I was to survive this. I needed a way out.
That way out, my friends, was writing.
Picture this: You are standing in a room that is completely dark. You cannot see anyone else, or hear anyone else. You are completely alone.
But the issue is that you aren't alone. There could be hundreds of people squeezed in that room all feeling alone in the dark too. We only recognize the presence of others suffering in the same way when one person reaches out. When they bump into the person next to them, or speak and hear a response.
Mental illness is not something we should keep quiet about. A huge problem I have noticed that even worsens a persons state of mental health, is the feeling that they are alone. That no-one understands them. The tragic truth of it all, is that this is the most inaccurate form of poison we can feed to those who feel hopeless. If one in three people suffer mental illness at some point in their life, then in your classroom, workplace, or local grocers one third of the people trudging around you have at one point struggled. We can often walk in and out of a room and think we are completely alone. Some people kill themselves because of it.
Because standing up on a stage and yelling "I'm screwed up" isn't generally something I find myself capable of, or even the act of talking gently to the person next to me about it, I write. I write only for myself, only so that I can process what I am feeling and challenge my own thoughts. So when I was diagnosed with depression, I wrote. When I felt the urge to self harm, I wrote. When my friends let me down, I wrote. When a friend committed suicide, I wrote. When I attempted suicide, I wrote.
After several years, the words were building. As the stacks of papers grew higher, I was slowly feeling lighter too. However, I was very conscious of the fact that I had struggled, and survived. Some people don't, or still don't know if they can truly survive everything that they have endured. I wanted to help these people, desperately, and show them that yes, it is possible and very much worth it. So, slowly I began typing out my most private thoughts, that I had been scribbling into journals and keeping strictly hidden.
What continued to inspire me to complete a novel, was the pain I experienced from other people's lack of understanding. My father, some friends, and others could not grasp the concept of mental illness. It broke my heart, and their words often hurt because I couldn't translate to them that the reasons I couldn't get out of bed, or couldn't order my own food wasn't laziness. It was illness. I couldn't explain why simple tasks were so difficult, and they wouldn't believe it anyway.
The pressure to be perfect and okay was impossible. Small victories in my eyes, were still failure in other peoples. That was something that made recovery very hard. So, I wrote it out. I searched my own mind and feelings and turned it into writing, in hope that it might broaden the understanding of those who haven't suffered mental illness or severe hardship in their lives. I wrote so that not only does a person have something to relate to in their pain, but so that they may have a network of people around them that may also support them, by simply understanding.
So, I have now published on Kindle, my very first book: Daffodils. I have in essence, published my diary—a collection of poetry and short pieces that document the lowest and most painful moments I endured. I documented it for those to see how irrational our brains may become while suffering, and how our thought processes change. I explain why I pushed people away, why I used people, and why I never trusted. I open up about regrets, frustrations, and heartbreak. I revealed the hope in recovery, and the reality of recovery, because my goodness, it isn't easy, nor is it smooth sailing.
This book is for those suffering the weight of the world on their shoulders, those who are losing hope and those in recovery. This book is for those who know people, who are struggling and want to understand and help. This book is for the world. This is something to learn from, something to develop understanding from. This is a book like no other—it's raw reality, a teenage diary opened.
I would encourage you to take a peek. Here are the details.
You can heal.