May 8, 2012

Photo of Natalie, a Time to Change bloggerImagine someone in a wheelchair being told to get up and walk. You couldn’t envisage anyone being so insensitive. Imagine someone suffering with depression being told to ‘snap out of it’ or to just ‘smile’.

Like the first comment, if it was that simple do you not think they would have tried?You’re asking them to do the impossible: they just don’t have the strength.

I’ve heard them all; the absurd things that people say when they feel uneasy about something, when they are out of their comfort zone; when actually the best thing they could have done would be to have just listened.

Once I described to someone what it was like to suffer with depression they said with such flippancy ‘well we all have bad days’. Very true, but the difference is that their bad days aren’t filled with dread, anxiety, dejection, hopelessness, fear and trepidation, to name but a few.

The hardest thing when living with a mental illness is coping with loneliness

The hardest thing when living with a mental illness is coping with loneliness. It feels like you’re living under a black cloud, deep inside a fog that at times can suffocate you.

You can become so alone in a world brimming with people. In the darkest of those times all I ever need is company, someone who will listen, someone who can offer words of comfort, or someone who will just sit with me until the bad time passes. If I’m alone, the bad time doesn’t pass quite so quickly and it becomes unbearable.

I very openly discuss my illness

I very openly discuss my illness with whoever wants to listen, some take it in and try to understand, but others, they turn a blind eye not wanting to know. The unfortunate thing is that it can happen to anyone at any point in life and I often think if it happened to them wouldn’t they want someone to listen, someone to care.

I have recently being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, something which involves a degree of instability in self-image and identity, black and white thinking, highly emotional behaviour and impulsivity. My initial thought that day was ‘great, another label’. However, the more I learnt about it the more I realised that this isn’t just a label it’s so much more. It’s who I am and who I’ve been for some time; it’s the only way I know how to be.

if it were to be brushed under the carpet and ignored the consequences would be dire

The thought of hours of therapy that the future holds is a frightening prospect. Even more frightening than this is knowing that I will have to completely change the person I am in order to become well. That’s not going to be easy but it has to be done because if it were to be brushed under the carpet and ignored the consequences would be dire.

A lot of the time I’m completely misunderstood. I might be over sensitive, cautious and lack self worth but what people don’t understand is why. If they knew the daily or even hourly battle I had to fight maybe they wouldn’t question who I was but more how they could help, how they could make a difference.

the world would actually be a better place if more people simply understood you

Sometimes depression can leave you feeling that the world would be a better place without you in it, that’s not true; the world would actually be a better place if more people simply understood you.

I have had so much support from so many people without which I wouldn’t have survived. So many people have shown such compassion and understanding and have supported me during my times of suffering.

They have sat with me in my darkest hours and have got me through each and every time. They have never left my side, and have done so with such patience. To have them in my life has been nothing short of a blessing.

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