The Clearly Visible Illness
Don’t underestimate the ugliness inside my head. Just because people tell me I look beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean I see beauty within. Our bodies are just a vessel for our minds. I may smile and look well, but I am most likely hiding the terrible crisis within. A battle I just don’t seem to ever win.
I have reached out far too many times to count. My cries for help seem to always fall on deaf ears. When I tell you these things, you just tell me I’m being silly. Why do I have to fight so hard to be taken seriously? And when I do speak up, you hold me accountable for yesterday’s struggle. Each day is so different from the last. I am constantly changing and switching behind this mask. The facade I portray to the rest of the world. The illusion you all fall for. Perhaps I have pulled off the greatest magic trip ever seen? Perhaps when I disappear, I will have.
But I guarantee I’m not coming out the other side of that box. I am sick of fighting this never-ending war in my head. A tug of war between my illness and myself. All of this while trying to hold a job and function in society. HA! That’s a joke not many understand.
I mean, how does anyone actually expect you to function? Mental illness is actually defined as a condition that causes serious disorder in a person’s behavior or thinking. So why do people act so surprised when we act disorderly or have strange thoughts? Sure, there is a part of it that Is psychological and a result of poor mental health. But some mental illnesses are a malfunctioning brain.
A brain isn’t just our consciousness. It’s much more intricate than that. Its the control center of our entire body! Our body, which we use to interact with the external world. If our mind doesn’t function, neither does our body. If our body fails us, then it affects our entire life. Symptoms then manifest in everyday scenarios.
It’s an invisible illness, they say, but that’s just because they don’t care to look. I see it every day. I can spot mental illness a mile away. Is it just that we are so preoccupied with ourselves that we pay such little attention to others? Or do people just not want to see it?
I can forgive someone for not knowing what to look for, although common sense normally helps. I think it’s relatively easy to tell if someone isn’t OK, regardless of what the cause is. But that’s just it, too. I am constantly surrounded by people pointing out the symptoms of my illness but deny it exists. I’m like, “You’re looking right at it! You’re telling me you see it! You’re describing it!”
People like to comment on how it affects my life. It’s evident they see it because they won’t shut up about it! “Your life’s a mess!” they scream.
Well, duh! I’m a mess! The trouble is, people see it but they don’t want to accept that it’s because of mental illness. To them, it’s just a shitty choice I’m making—or worse still, I’m just a shitty person.
I have come to the conclusion that people deny it because they are scared. No one wants to believe it to be true because nobody wants to believe it could ever happen to them. This life is cruel, and we are all secretly wanting to believe it’s cruel for a reason, and that those who struggle deserve it for whatever reason.
No one wants to live in a world where at any moment everything we knew is gone and through no fault of our own we are left stranded, abandoned, and helpless. It’s a terrifying thought. Even ancient civilizations had to believe bad things happened for a reason They blamed the wrath of the gods. With the dwindling faith in religion, we blame each other.
I’ve walked this path alone for so many years, battling my illness with everything I had—and it wasn’t very much I had at times. I desperately wanted to be understood and helped, even though I was accused of wanting the exact opposite.
Before you judge someone or stigmatize them next, just remember that when I is replaced with we, illness becomes wellness.
You can’t comprehend it until it happens to you, but the way things are going, this is the world’s largest epidemic that will eventually affect us all.