Mental illness is something no one wants to talk about. Its real. Some people are ashamed of it, do not want to talk about it and get laughed at it. It is no laughing matter. People take their lives in behind humility and shame. Some people suffer in silence. It is sad when people feel like they have no one to talk to but unfortunately, that’s how things are these days. People hide their feelings for fear of being called crazy and sometimes fear of being called stupid or fear of losing friends.
But it is something that needs to be discussed, instead of swept under the rug. There are so many news stories of victims being killed and when they find out the person that was killed is mentally ill, that is their justification. But a mentally ill person is somebody too. I do not think it is right that they use mental illness against people. For example, I went to the emergency room once. I was having chest pains. Once they saw that I was bipolar and on anxiety medication, the first thing the doctor said was, your chest pain is a result of your anxiety. That really upset me because it had nothing to do with my anxiety level at all. Turns out, my potassium was low. That is my point exactly when I say they use your mental illness against you. When some providers see that you are on mental medication, its automatically determined that your issue is stemming from your mental illness. Sad but true.
I tell people, like myself, that you are not your illness. You are a person and just like any other medical problems, you have problems on paper that require medication to treat. I have been asked to be a motivational speaker. I have also been asked to run my own peer support group. I have declined both because I feel that people are entitled to their privacy. Some people do not want to talk about their problems, past or present. They just suffer in silence. They smile on the outside and are happy but deep down inside, they are hurting so bad, words cannot explain. I know that feeling all too well. And when people do commit suicide, people always say, I did not know they felt that way, I never thought they would do that. Look at the first 3 words of those 2 sentences. I did not know, I never thought. You never know what someone is going through and that you never know everything about a person.
Mental illness was the reason that I started back writing poetry. I had a friend that was going through some things. I thought to myself, I wonder how I can help her. I had not written a poem since 2006. So, off the top of my head, I wrote a poem. It is entitled Emotional Pain.
I have severe emotional pain
In my life, when it rains, it pours
I just want to have some days filled with joy.
Will this pain ever end?
I want to be happy again
This emotional pain has to go away
This is the end of what I am trying to say
She felt so much better after reading that poem. I had a set of words in there from when I first wrote the poem, but I decided to delete them because I felt that they were irrelevant. Nevertheless, she enjoyed the poem anyway. With mental illness, it is like being in a tunnel that you feel like you will never come out of. But being mentally ill is a set of emotions that you go through. You just have to take the good with the bad. You just have to adapt. It is a learning process, per say.
You have coping skills that you have to find. If your coping skills do not work, keep changing them until you find a set that works. After all, this is your well-being. No one can control you but you. Never forget that. You are your own person.