Tag Archives: fear

To My Loved One Who Loves Me With My Mental Illness

I want to start by saying that you are the strongest person I know. You are the only one who has seen me at my worst, as well as, at my best. Any person with mental illness will tell you that opening up to someone is the hardest part of finding a support system.

There are a few things I want to tell you, but I am too afraid to tell you in person. First off, I should tell you how afraid I was to become so attached so quickly to you. From the sweaty palms, the stupid conversations I made to get your number, to the hours I spent in my room wondering how I’m going to tell you I love you, its scary. I began thinking about a future with you as we started adventuring together more often, something after college, maybe get a dog together or something that wont poop in the house as much. I wondered why the hell are you so damn important? Am I just being super clingy? It wasn’t until I was gazing at your smile, at Buttermilk Falls as you sat on a bench, that I realized I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel anxious, or depressed, worried, or overwhelmed. I felt love and I felt happiness course through my veins, and the feeling was intoxicating. I feel so stupid and juvenile for saying this, but for a few moments, you were my cure. Now when I see you, as I become more fond of your qualities, I don’t feel any pain. To put it in perspective, imagine a headache for two years, pulsating and slowing tearing away your sanity, when all of a sudden, the headache is gone and you can finally enjoy your life, that’s the effect you have on me.

I’m afraid to take medicine because I don’t want to become a shell of the man you fell in love with. I want the goofy, playful, adventurous me to stay, and I’ve been ill for so long, I’ve forgotten what I used to be like. I remember how we discussed that our pasts relationships were ordinary, and that for a relationship to succeed, we need to be extraordinary. I was afraid I would lose that.

You may not understand this, but I’m most afraid not to be anxious. Crazy right? I’m afraid that I will be so relaxed, and so care free that when reality hits, it will tear me apart beyond repair. It’s my OCD that allows me to remember where we sat during our dates, its my anxiety that determines how much I care about you, and its my depression that gives me a clear idea of how much your presence and love really affects me. I’m afraid that one day I’ll be okay with you going out alone, and then I learn that you never came home. I’ll think, if I had just been more cautious, we could have that future that I imagined.

I want to tell you that as much as you love me, I’m afraid that you will tell me that my anxiety cannot sustain this relationship any longer. It’s happened before, and the experience made me cold, unforgiving, and closed to affection. I thought, “who wants to love me?” I no longer want to fear this, and show you simply and only that I’m capable of the highest capacity for love, and that mental illness will not discourage me from getting better.

As I come to face my fears in the upcoming months, I can promise you I wont half-ass my efforts to get better. I can tell you that as much as I don’t want to do certain things, I want to do them more now than ever, just so I can show you what I’m capable of. I will do everything I can to show you the real me. The me that doesn’t worry about you, except out of love. The me that wants to go out with you, not so I can keep an eye on you, but because I love the idea of dancing with you until 2am. The me who can show you that I have so much untapped strength and confidence, that I’ve been afraid to show you for so long.

I want to show you that I am a guy you can spend years with, years full of adventure and excitement, years of surprising each other with gooey-cute ideas on Pinterest,  and years where I can look back and see clearly how far we have come.

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A Shell of a Child

Never have I felt more alone than in the place I should feel loved

Home

I never can escape the fear…the pure horror of a child’s mind

The feeling of play…of love…is too unfamiliar

It sits and it wrenches my eyes with tears

Like a victim living with her abuser

Like cancer living in its desecrated body

I have no where to go

I am alone

Watching you sit in the tub…blood poured

yelling, “Mommy wake up.”

But you laid there, penetrating my mind

Pills on the floor

Booze dripping on the side of your lip

Eyes wide and without any life inside

“Why won’t you wake up?”

Eight years old….

I became a shell of a child

But,you aren’t the only one dying mommy

For when I go home, I come a little bit closer to my own death

I come a little closer to giving into my fear

When I go home

I become a shell of a child

When I go home…

Please don’t make me go…

Mental Illness Tag

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely and beautiful morning. In honor of Anxiety and Depression Awareness week, I decided to participate in a mental illness tag that was suggested by Beccadoeslifethings. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for about two years now, and although my depression is much more manageable, the anxiety of life is still a constant struggle.

My anxiety is based around my time inside of the Marine Corps, as well as, the lasting result of having a mother who is an alcoholic during my childhood. I suffer panic attacks semi-weekly, and I have a beautiful girlfriend who endures the worst of it with me. She is a blessing straight from god in my eyes! Anxiety often gets a bad rap as “over worrying” or often gets the response of “dude chill!” Well, as much as I respect someone else’s input, unless you have been in my shoes, you should kindly shut the F*** up! As my life exists now, I have taken myself off medicine, and use cognitive therapy and controlled exposure therapy to combat my anxiety so that one day I can fight the root of my anxiety, and coping will barely be necessary. My girlfriend will go out for fun with her friends, and the panic attacks will begin to flood. She stays strong for me, and every single day I struggle to stay strong for her! Anxiety affects not only the victim, but also the support system that surrounds the victim. Today I’d like to shed some personal insight on my encounter with mental illness.

1) What mental illness do you have? I have a history of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GED), and clinical depression. One may think that I just have shitty luck when it comes to mental illness, but its actually all just interconnected! Lucky us right?

2) When were you diagnosed? I was diagnosed shortly after being discharged from the Marine Corps because of my chronic panic attacks. I began losing sleep, feared leaving my house, and lost all value of my life. It wasn’t until I was playing a guitar, having the string break, and begin crying for hours as a result, that I realized I needed professional assistance.

3) Who knows about it? Most people know that I suffer mental illness. I have become proud of the challenges I overcome and I use it as a tool to relate with others who experience mental illness. Just the other day, my friend, who also suffers from anxiety and depression said, “Only an irrational mind can understand another irrational mind.” I can honestly say that my fellow mental illness warriors and my girlfriend know to what extent that I fight every day.

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4) Do you receive treatment for it? As I mentioned before, I am still in participation of weekly cognitive therapy, and I’m eager to begin my desensitizing therapy. Desensitizing therapy means to expose myself to my fear, going out with my significant other, in order to observe that the situation is much more rational than my brain lets on! I have taken antidepressants before, and I personally chose to get off of them to focus on the development of my problems off of pure willpower after I no longer wanted to feel the side effects of my medication. (I am not suggestion that medication is unnecessary, and I feel that it is a useful tool depending on the individual!)

5) Has your mental illness stopped you from doing anything? My mental illness makes life a real pain in the ass, but I always make it a point to try and get out to do different things. It has stopped me from going out with my friends and loved ones in a “party” environment. That’s going to change soon enough though! My depression tends to make me extremely irritable, and this makes it harder for me to maintain consistent friendships. I therefor don’t always feel like I should partake in activities with my friends because I will feel guilty of my attitude.

6) Is there anything in particular that has helped you? You ready for an answer that you’d never expect to hear from a guy? Cuddling! When someone gives me a hug, or embraces me, I truly feel that I can open up my soul to them. The support system I have is by far the most important tool to combat mental illness. Friends, family, and loved ones who take the time to sit, take the time to listen, and take the time to reflect on what I’ve stressed can really learn how to help control my irrational thoughts. Furthermore, writing has provided me and outlet to connect with others just like me, and reassure me that I’m not alone. Finally, my therapist last week just gave me a coloring book….needless to say, it’s great to feel like a kid instead of feeling on edge!

7) Can you describe what it feels like to have a mental illness? For depression, imaging having a dark figure wrapping around you. This is death. He, yes it’s a he, is so loving and wants you to accept him. He wares you down like an eraser on a piece of paper, filling your head with words like hopeless, sadness, darkness. He wants you to believe that he’s your only friend and after a while, I started to believe him. I almost did. The pressure was bone crushing, and it seemed like years since I ever saw something worth smiling at. A light begins to burn him, this is love. Love of my father, love of my girlfriend, love of myself. I have so much love, but I know death is just waiting for his opportunity to cling back on to me.

Anxiety  I feel is like a horror movie. Remember the scene where the hopeless victim is getting chased by a masked murderer, and your heart is pounding with fear and unrest? Imaging that ALL THE F****** TIME! It makes my stomach sick, it hurts my chest and my lungs during every breath. Now the panic attacks? I don’t know how else to describe it, besides that every thought, every smell, every image, everything I hear, is terrifying to the point where I am certain that I will die. I feel like I’m having a heart attack and my worst nightmares have resurfaced. In my head I constantly scream, “I want to die. I want to die. I want to die. I’m in so much pain. Why do I deserve this?” Every single fear, suppressed memory, and intangible idea is now a reality.

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8) What is a common misconception about mental illness? One misconception is that I can just turn my anxiety and depression on and off like a bathroom light switch. News flash society, that not how it works! People associate words like depression and anxiety with dulled meaning like “worry” or “sadness.” During finals week especially, students around campus say how they are having a panic attack over their exam. Nope, no you are not. It’s also assumed that after a while of treatment, we should be able to get over our “issue.” It takes some people years and year to simply cope with their illness, and even after, the fear and anxiety of the illness making a comeback still loomed in the dark distance. Wouldn’t it be great if depression could be cured with night time flu medication?

9) What do you find most difficult to deal with? I find it most difficult to try and open up to loved ones so they can understand how I am feeling. Communication and patience is what I’ve learned is needed in a relationship, either intimate or friendly,  to open up conversation about the issues of mental illness. Time after time I try to tell my girlfriend whats bothering me, but how do you explain something you don’t even understand yourself? How can I explain that I was afraid NOW for going out last night? It takes a special type of person to decode my irrational thoughts. It’s so difficult to not just close up emotionally because you feel that others shouldn’t need to “deal” with your “problems.” I learned very quickly this semester that a special bond, and covenant of trust, is created when you can spill your thoughts and feeling without being worried or judged about how they are being perceived. Both you and your significant other can feel this bond. The feeling is unlike no other.

For those who care for someone with anxiety or panic attacks ill say this: if they are open to it, hold them. Hold them as tight as possible like you will never let them go. Make them feel like nothing can hurt them. Give them time to open up once they are safe, and instead of telling them what is “rational” or “irrational” help them come up with a solution or compromise to create an answer, and put them at ease, regardless of how irrational their fear might be.

10) Do you have anything else you’d like to say? To those of you suffering with mental illness: It’s okay! I think that we were put on this earth because we are just a hell of a lot tougher than everyone else! Never be ashamed or afraid to speak up about your illness because it doesn’t control you, you control it. You have such a vast community to open up to, and every single person in your shoes will not hesitate to shower you with love and support. To family, friends, and loved ones who know someone with mental illness. You very well might be their rock. You are their space to feel loved, accepted, and anxiety free. This is the greatest honor you could ever have because in the grasp of everything, you are the 1% of people who are able to achieve this. Listen to them and be patient, because the deeper you get into their thoughts, the more likely you will be to love them for who they are. You have met the strongest person you will ever meet.

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I hope you all enjoyed my post! Mental illness can vary on a huge spectrum, so I suggest you all share your stories so that we can work together to end the stigma on mental illness! I’d like to hear every single one of your stories, so please let me know. Even if you don’t suffer from mental illness, it is always helpful to hear from those that get to view mental illness through a separate perspective!

Anxiety

Never have I ever felt free

Anxiety

A thought wanders and finds a new home….it grows larger.

Anxiety

Worry turns into fear, fear into panic, panic in to pain, pain into depression.

Anxiety

Reality and imaginary becomes a blur and trust is no longer rational.

Anxiety

She tells me it’s okay. My head says she lying.

Anxiety

My love for her is overtaken by my fear of her.

Anxiety

Darkness falls and I know that I am now truly alone.

Anxiety

She holds my hand. Holds me tight.

Depression

I’m sorry this is me. I want to give you my smile.

I’m sorry

Back When You Didn’t Hurt Me

If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t change when I made the wrong decision, when I felt sad or betrayed, or when I could have altered the outcome of my life all together. No… the feelings of a scraped knee or a damaged pride are petty and incomparable to what I would change if I could turn back time.

I would go back to a time where I was oblivious to what was going on around me. A time where I didn’t question the morals of the people who “cared” for me and “loved”  me. A time when I had the perfect family and all was right in the world. Kisses and hugs were my life force and the only thing I ever worried about was if I would get a turn on the computer.

 I would go back to a time where I asked my dad, “Hey dad, why is mom falling over?” simply because I didn’t know that a mom could be any less than perfect. I wish that I never realized that my mom would go to bed before me as a child, just because she had begun drinking as ealcohol-2arly as noon, every…single….day.

I so wish and beg that I could go back to a time where I didn’t constantly notice the fridge stocked with cans of “Bud Light” and cheap wines bought from the liquor store just down the street. I’d go back to when juice boxes and milk for cereal were the only things that ever stocked the fridge… at least in my innocent eyes.

Mom, I wish you weren’t the monster that my older siblings said you were. Today I can only say, you are the monster that shoots through my brain when anxiety turns me into shambles at the sight of alcohol. Mom, you have put me an eternal bind of confusion. Should I love my mom, as is natural for most children, or resent the monster that has taken her place.

If I could go back, I’d want to grow up knowing that my paradise of childhood will end abruptly.

If I Could Turn Back Time

Fright Night

When I watch a horror movie, I always need my blanket, my teddy bear, and a human body to hide behind. The eerie music will hum and I will cover my ears and eyes in fear of a jump scare. I can feel the hair on the back of my neck shoot outwards in anticipation of impending doom that may or may not linger around every corner. Sweat will dampen my skin, regardless of how cold it might be. My heart pulsates violently against my chest, as if I were in actual danger.

Once the movie is over, I am left with nothing but the even more horrifying thoughts of the human mind. The monster under the bed seems even more real than when I was a child, asking my parents to check the closet. All door, windows, blinds, and crevices must be plugged so that no creatures can linger in the shadows. Spiritual items will find themselves around my neck in the hopes that any movie related evil spirits will not infiltrate the internal temple of my soul. I am so vulnerable.

I love it.

The adrenaline rushing through my veins, filling me with life. The primal instincts of “fight or flight” have been reintroduced because I know that when things begin to go downhill, I will be ready. I have never felt so alive! The fear, the panic, and the anxiety fills the void that can not be filled by everyday comforts that we indulge in from 8AM to bedtime. In my college life, the most excitement I feel is the sense of achievement when I get a perfect score on my exam, so a little uncomfortableness from a movie is a great way to unwind!

One final note is that, the fear and anxiety from watching a scary movie can be much more comically satisfying when watching it with a friend who gets scared by their own sneeze! There is nothing like scaring the heck out of your best friend! Am I right?

This is my writing prompt to Fright Night Enjoy!