I Just Don’t Get It

Mental health is just that, health. – Julia W.

Until very recently, mental illness was my best kept secret, or so I thought. I was always hypersensitive to what others would think about it. I have a disease that cannot always be seen but continues to impact my everyday life, and I need help. Despite the daunting fear of feeling misunderstood and being a burden to someone else by sharing, keeping it hidden only adds more burden to myself. In March 2017, I got a semi-colon tattooed on my body. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the semi-colon project, it is a project that anyone can get involved in that raises awareness for mental health and suicide as well as provides a safe community with one goal in mind, to prevent suicide.

Every day my tattoo serves as a reminder of the promise I made myself – to keep fighting.

I accepted that I have a disease that cannot be cured and I promised to do my best to cope with it. I accepted that there will be people that cannot relate or understand and I promised to fight the urge to be hypersensitive to their opinions. I accepted that exposing myself will make me vulnerable and I promised to continue to share and consider my illness to be an opportunity to educate. After all, something positive must come from this right? From my experience with sharing my mental illness with others, people that do not understand could be split into two groups: people that show empathy and continue to validate your feelings vs. people that do not believe it’s real. What’s truly difficult is trying to put the words together to help someone understand something that I don’t understand myself. Sometimes I think the only way to make someone believe it is if they live it – but I’d never wish that on anyone.

It has taken me a long time to get to this place. I am 29-years-old and I battle depression every single day. But I am a warrior and refuse to let it control me like it has in the past. I find comfort in friends who understand and I do my best to explain depression to those who don’t. – Amanda H.

I recently discovered an incredible charity, Mind. They have a compilation of beautiful videos for mental health awareness. Please watch!

Please continue to love and support. Be there to talk. But know that it’s a battle, things aren’t just fixed because you tell us that “everything is okay.” – Aileen S.

I always feel so misunderstood. Patience and reassurance is a big key for me because 90% of the time I cannot help how I feel. EVERYONE is different and deals with situations differently. When someone struggles with depression please encourage and redirect them to positive things! – Jaclyn S.

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