Mental health is the hardest thing to treat, accept, live with, and discuss. Mainly because these days everyone loves to throw the “crazy” word around, and leave it be. It’s so much easier to just toss people aside for an illness we cannot understand, and for something that seems too difficult to grasp. Most people are frightened by mental illness, so its much easier to make fun of it, or ignore it. When I was first diagnosed, I did not understand my own feelings. I could not comprehend my frequent change in mood, why I felt the way I did, and what I was suffering from. Once I did understand the mental side to my health (straight up anger), my body soon followed into a successful recovery. As I will always say, life is a state of mind over matter. If you can mentally square yourself away, then maybe just maybe you will make it. But mental health is an everyday battle. It will never just be “fixed.” Things happen, you will be exposed to new things, maybe injuries or even medication will constantly alter your mental state. So before that tacky “crazy” word comes sputtering out of your mouth, lets sink ourselves into what exactly its like to suffer from being trapped in your own mind, or just from living with yourself.
I have existed within a state of anxiety since I can remember. Anything would set me off, from parting from my parents for a few hours, reading a book, or even watching Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know why I have anxiety, but as I have grown older, the disease has grown too. My brain works the way that it does, and I have to do my best to live a functional life. Seeking out help a year ago, I visited my primary doctor asking for advice. He started me on a very low dosage of Xanax because he was frightened how it would work with my respiratory system seeing as how I have this incurable, fatal respiratory disease. Moving on, I was also sent to have a pysch evaluation at my request to make sure I was okay which I was then just formally diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. I was given two higher dosages of Xanax. I began taking them because I was supposed to – got sleepy but that was a whatever thing to me. Then I became taking them during panic attacks, or when I knew I was about to go into what I thought was a stressful situation. Then I started taking two, or three, or more. By last month I was too tired to even walk across my house. I wasn’t remembering parts of my day, having trouble separating dreams from reality, and I was blacking out throughout the day. When I didn’t have my pills I was anxious, restless, emotional, and well, unbearable in my mind.
Yes, I am a Xanax addict. I thought of the brilliant idea (ha. ha. ha.) that I would try to not take any while I attended Gathering of Nations at the end of April. I was surrounded by my culture I loved, busy with shopping, dancing, friends, music…I was ecstatic until about thirty minutes into it. There were millions of people there, it was hot, I was stressed by emotional triggers, and there was no Xanax in site. Fourteen hours into the Pow-Wow (yes, they go on forever, and we were there that long) I had spiked a fever, was nauseated, irritable, shaky, sweating, short of breath just from sitting down, and weak. It didn’t stop there, of course. I had no medication to “numb” my brain. My brain hadn’t had to think in a long time, in fact it at this point was used to just shutting off. Every feeling I was finally feeling, I was experiencing on the highest level. I felt alone, scared, shut away and suicidal; and yes I relapsed a week later.
This detox, and attempt to get away from a drug that calms me (in probably not the best way possible) has been a painful one. Not only physically, but mentally. Mental illnesses are the worst because they are our literal being. The are the reason, and voices in our head that decide exactly what we do; so when you spat your mouth off about how we are the way we are, it’s not just a hurtful thing in itself…but its destructive to us, and we already want to destroy ourselves. We have to live with ourselves, and anyone can find a million reasons why they dislike or even hate themselves. To hear it from someone confirms with the little red man inside of us that maybe, just maybe it isn’t worth it to keep fighting the big fight. Maybe everyone else already won, and we are eternally the losers.
I try really hard to be truthful with people, mainly because I hate liars, and I know what its like to be lied to. I try really hard to love people, and show them the best parts of themselves and how to use it, mainly because very very very few people have ever done that for me. I had to do it myself. I try really hard to keep smiling on the outside, because I know how it feels to see nothing but a bunch of shit around you instead of happiness. Your words, your actions, and your gossip could be the final puzzle piece to a disaster that you never thought would be complete.
Mental illness is invisible. Mental illness is painful, and it is often masked with lots of smiles, words, medications, and attempts to love others and be normal. Help someone instead of talking about them. People are So Worth Loving.
Song of the Week is Carnival by the Cardigans because they are precious, and its such a happy song. Check it out!
Also, for a limited time in my Etsy Shop (well, until supplies last and until I leave the state) you can purchase this bundle for only $15! It includes a Just Breath tee, Medical ID card, and a inspirational card. All of that for only $15! Yes, children’s sizes are available! Does a friend need a shirt, or a kiddo? The link to my shop is under the “SHOP” tab!