Trigger Warning: This post is not going to be about fashion, but rather about my mental health. There is discussion of suicide ideation and eating disorders.
I’m struggling right now, and I would like to open the door to talk about my mental health. I would also like to open the door to all of you, to email me if you ever need a friend. Mental health is a challenge, and no one should ever feel alone.
In order to explain why I’m feeling so blue these days, I would like to take a minute to talk about my history with my mental illnesses.
Around the age of 11, I first started feeling intense sadness and suicidal thoughts. I do remember feeling very unhappy prior to this point in time, so I know I have always been different, but I first thought about ending my life at this age. It continued to worsen as I turned into a teenager, especially as I developed an eating disorder. I became so depressed by age 13, I tried to kill myself for the first time. Luckily, I was not successful and did not end up in the hospital. The older I got, the worse my depression became. By age 16, I had tried to end my life an additional 2 times. By 18, 4. My suicide ideation is nearly 100% constant.
You may be wondering, what do I mean by suicide ideation, and how does it differ from being suicidal? Suicide ideation, for me, is thinking about ending my life or dying. It usually is met with a feeling of indifference or “numbness”. This is usually not a panic filled state for me. Alternatively, when I am suicidal, I am panicked and actively trying to harm myself or end my life. I am often more aggressive with others, and I shut myself off. I have not been suicidal in about 3 months now, and when I was suicidal 3 months ago, I did not attempt to end my life. I did harm myself in the way of worsening my eating disorder very badly with the intention of causing great pain. My suicide ideation has not changed since this point, and I very rarely have a “good day”. It takes a huge amount of energy for me to write blog posts, to walk the dog, to shower, to get out of bed, and to prepare food. Sometimes, I struggle to take my medication, or to hydrate at all. A “good day” for me usually means that I accomplish all of my tasks and do something that I enjoy. I think the last time that was, was around 2 years ago now.
I am part of the Sad Girls Club, and that’s ok. I have learned to accept that I am not some manic-pixie dream girl with a heart of gold. I am not some cheerful angelic woman who holds her head up high. I am often filled with sadness, and it is very hard for me to be drawn toward the light.
It’s ok to accept that mental illness plays a role in your daily life. It is ok to allow yourself to have “bad days”, and it is ok to heal. I will admit, I fear what I will do to myself somedays. I can start off a morning with the intent of being positive and cheerful, and end it sobbing in bed wondering why I’m not good enough. I self-destruct constantly. If I lose any weight, I will overeat. If I am feeling stable, I will stop taking my meds. If things with my fiancé are going “too well”, I will overthink all of his actions until I work myself into anger. I do not know why I do these things to myself, but I have learned over time that while it is ok to be afraid, it is more helpful to be brave. It is more beneficial to be strong when you can be, and to rest when you cannot.
I know I need to stand up to myself more often, but chasing my demons is hard. I often wonder how I’m supposed to explore my eternal sadness, while I barely have enough energy to get out of bed to pee in the mornings.
Lately, I’ve been telling myself “you’ll get there. It will take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”, but I am so terrified of becoming self-destructive again. I feel like a warrior, fighting off suicidal thoughts and unhealthy coping mechanisms. I feel like a stranger in my own body, walking on eggshells in my mind, hearing voices in my head that don’t – that couldn’t possibly- come from me. Then whenever I start to feel a bit happier, I feel like a ghost in my own house, wondering who rearranged the furniture.
Depression is the voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I am worthless, that I mean nothing. My eating disorder is the voice that tells me that I am unlovable and disgusting. My anxiety is the voice that tells me that I am stupid, and that no one would really want to be around me. Why can’t I make these voices stop? What will quiet the screaming I hear every second of the day? What will silence the cries, the pleading?
I don’t have an answer for that yet, but I’m trying to figure it out. I do believe it is entirely centered around loving myself more, and finding myself. I have come a long way on this journey, and I truly believe that I am getting better as time goes on. Throughout all of the bad days, the one thing they can’t take from me is the knowledge that I am better now than I once was. A girl who refused to be seen in any photographs now openly accepts modeling opportunities. A girl who wore a sweatshirt and jeans every day, now wears mini-skirts comfortably. A girl who once couldn’t look herself in the eye now feels “sexy” and “beautiful” sometimes. The transformation that everyone takes in life is very different, but I am learning to be proud of my own path rather than envious of others. I do not want to end my life today, and I am healing through this blog. It is both as simple and as complicated as that. Something so small is a huge step for me, and for that, I am grateful.
Here’s to hoping that one day, the moth fluttering anxiously within my heart will be drawn to the light, rather than the darkness.
I love sharing my thoughts with you, and I hope that this can make some of you feel less alone. We are all in this together, and I love each and every one of you enough for the both of us.
Have a blessed day.