Mentally Ill? Or Perhaps...

by Brendan Styles about a year ago in depression

A message to the Diagnosed, From the Diagnosed.

Mentally Ill? Or Perhaps...

I’m on a mission...

This mission started about 17 years ago when I first got diagnosed with depression.

And now at 25 years old, I’m just recently recognizing that I’m on this mission. And with a clearer sight of it, I realize it has only just begun.

After a six year drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, the 32 titanium plates placed in half of my face, two rehab facilities, the self harm, attempted suicides, and three psychiatric hospitals, that diagnosis of Depression has developed and acquired a few friends.

Those friends being: Bipolar 2 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and good old ADHD...

I love telling bits of my story to others. Mostly because it helps me to express. But also, I get to hear my own story out loud as I’m speaking. I get to hear what brought me to where I am...

And that’s just fucking beautiful...

The challenges I’ve overcome, the pain, the suffering, the self hatred. All of which have provided me with so much armor and weaponry to continue to fight and get my ass up anytime this bitch called “life” beats me to my knees.


There’s also another mentality that these years of pain have brought to me, which brings me back to my mission and the question I continue find the answer to.

Looking back at every single situation I’ve been involved in throughout my life, I realize one thing.

I was not happy nor fulfilled in those situations.

Have I felt joy in my life? Sure. But for very short periods of time. But what I never realized was that it was my environment trapping me; holding me back.

Where was I???

I was in a cage!

I was stuck around people, places, and things that limited my pursuit to my joy and happiness.

My parents, my friends, or anyone I was surrounded by only provided me with what they knew! Not what I desired! So how in the hell would I find what my soul craves if there’s no opening for me to even reach for it? I couldn’t. So guess what happens?

I’m depressed because my soul is trapped. I can’t be happy if I’m not where I desire to be.

I’m anxious because my soul is held back and can’t fucking breathe. Eventually I freak the fuck out. Tears. Shaking. So much pressure in my chest, as if my heart and soul can’t stand being in this body anymore.

My mind goes into a full blown manic state, because my soul has some restored, unstoppable power for me to surge so much energy for an attempt to escape that cage.

My personality continues to change in order for me to adjust to the cage I’m trapped in; in order to find happiness in the limited environment I put myself in.

My attention is elsewhere, because I have no desire to focus on what my environment is providing me. I’m hyperactive, because I’m not okay, and I'm uncomfortable with where my body and soul lie.

Past events creep up in my head, because I’m so trapped in the cage that I cannot escape from the overwhelmingly painful trauma that I experienced.

Everything I just explained is nothing but immense human desire for happiness...

And yet, these have become labels. We have medications that not only have side effects of making our already painful thoughts worse and that possibly cause suicide. (Trust me I’m still apart of the highly medicated club). And not only that. We’re receiving chemicals to help us what?

Adapt to our cage...

Over the past few years this cage has expanded and adapted a few windows so that I can at least see bits and pieces of where I want to be.

But the mission is to find that key that allows me to unlock the cage completely. I know it’ll be quite the process and who knows the time frame.

But one thing I know is I’m grateful for that cage, for it has given me the gift of solitude rather than what used to be isolation. The gift of immensely powerful anger to not let anything or anyone get in the way of my happiness. And most of all the gift of empathy.

With that gift alone, I have the ability to not only understand individuals, but the ability to be of service, to guide, and to provide an impact on another individual's life...

We vibrate at such a frequency that doesn’t synchronize with society. We synchronize with something much much bigger.

“Candles burn out. Spiritual beings don’t.”

Mentally ill? Fuck that.

We’re fucking Superheroes.

Brendan Styles
Brendan Styles
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Brendan Styles

I’m an athlete, writer, and well I pretty much do everything.

With the mental health issues, drug addiction, and life experience; I am now sober and have quite a bit to say. I’m learning to love the struggle of my 20’s. Follow my Journey!

See all posts by Brendan Styles