“Because of what you’re like”.
Those words are still ringing in my ears. The depression is still latching on to them. I couldn’t meet people because of what I was like, and what exactly was I like when these words were said to me?
Josh couldn’t see me ever meeting his friends because I was depressed at the time.
I blamed myself for the death of my best friends mother. I was in a relationship that was taking its toll on my mental health. I was recalling all the past physical, mental, and sexual abuse. I was living a nightmare. I was living in my own personal hell, and instead of a hand to pull me out of the ocean, I was tossed a boulder.
Josh was good at tossing those boulders.
I feel like I’m at the bottom of the Marianas Trench with the weight of my depression and anxiety crushing me, looking up and seeing that the surface is too far away to swim to.
For people who have mental illness, the illness is not them, and they are not the illness. That is not what they are like. That is not who they are. Please don’t allow their illness to define them in your eyes. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to you.
If you define them by their illness then you are robbing your chance of getting to know the real person underneath it.
The side affects of a mental illness can take many different shapes, and it may not be the same for any two people. Some people can have a high energy level one day followed by an extremely low energy level the next. For others, they may only have low energy days where they may not even be able to get out of bed.
That doesn’t mean they are lazy, it means they are fighting a war and trying like hell to win just to see another day.
Some people may become irritable, but that doesn’t mean they are an angry person. You couldn’t imagine the thoughts that are racing through their head to make them that way.
Some people can be extremely happy one day, and severely depressed the next.
Don’t judge them for their symptoms, instead help them through it. Be a guiding hand helping pull them through the darkness. Don’t try to fix them, instead be there for them as they fix themselves.
Learn more about Chad and his work at Our-Mental-Illness.org