Tag Archives: Mental disorder

My mental illness

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I am one of the thousands of people who suffer from a mental illness. I have an anxious personality disorder, social phobia and reoccurring depression. I carry around the shame of it, the embarrassment , the guilt, the shock of how much this illness has robbed me of regarding family and relationships and life goals. There was so much I wanted out of life. I remember when I was a teenager, I would type on an old electric typewriter (before the age of laptops) and dream of becoming a famous writer. I’d dream about becoming a mother and having a family of my own. Everything would run smoothly, no problem. There was a long list of things I swore I’d never do, roads I would never go down, multiple ways of fucking up my life that I would make sure to steer clear of.

I am now 38, a noncustodial mother, retired, socially isolated and just suffered a break-up. Again.

I could never make friends easily, I prefer the security of sitting behind my computer screen. I have hobbies where I can be sure to be alone: Photography, writing, drawing, painting. Things that I can do on my own. I have no friends that come around, nobody to confide in except people online. That’s why the internet is immensely important to me – take that away and there really is nobody to relate to or talk to.

This was so not the way I pictured my life. I wanted other things, a wholly different result, believe me. I have fought and fought this mental illness all my life. It goes back to when I took my first steps (which I did rather late due to an operation).. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious. There’s always been this deep insecurity inside me and it feels like I never had a choice in the matter – I could never win this battle even though I have tried.

If there’s one thing I’d like to change, it’s the fact that it’s so damn hard to find a partner. Who can tolerate being with someone so isolated, so needy, so insecure? I don’t know. I haven’t found anyone yet. I have a few failed relationships now and I am beginning to think that love is really not possible for someone with a mental illness.

Which kind of ruins my one final goal in life: I want someone to love me and STAY.

I now doubt it will ever happen.. because of this damn illness.

Do you think it’s possible to be successful at love when you have mental problems?

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The rocks will begin speaking

You know the expression ‘monsters live in the dark’? It means that all the things we keep secret about ourselves, the things we try to hide so well both from family, loved ones and friends but even from ourselves, will eventually grow up into an ugly, mean monster inside our heart and take over. Result = emotional breakdown, snap, hospital visit or suicide.

That’s why I am all about screaming, yelling, talking, crying. Any emotional outlet (aside from cutting my own skin) is an acceptable form of letting all the anguish seep out of my soul. I know after yrs of experience that if I keep all this angst inside, I will break down.
I once fell down in the street because I suddenly couldn’t feel my own legs and I couldn’t make sense of much. I had a breakdown right there on the sidewalk. After being in hospital for a bit and having many talks with my psychiatrist, I know it was the result of keeping my concerns and thoughts and anger to myself. I had the ‘nice syndrome’ where – at the cost of my own sanity – I had to be a nice person at all costs. Many women suffer from this. Little girls are taught to be nice and little boys are taught to believe in themselves. Sometimes. Anyway, my niceness and my hiding from my black side made me break down. I had a complete psychotic episode, faceless men in the room and everything.

So I vow to never keep quiet about my illness. I will tell anyone who will listen. My name is Gitte and I suffer from depression and anxiety. I wish that when I someday can’t speak anymore and hopefully am at peace in my grave, the rocks and stones on the streets would shout about this deathly illness. We mustn’t be quiet about it. It’s a nasty epidemic hitting people all over the world and yet mental health problems are still taboo.

There is no way I will be a party to the silence. I am depressed, I am anxious, every day is a struggle but I will fight to my dying day to stay alive. That’s my challenge in life. We all have a challenge. If you have one, I encourage you to face it with bravery. Bravery is not pulling yourself together and getting on with it. Bravery .- in my understanding – is to accept what is, learn to handle it to your best ability, and being open and outspoken about the fact that you’re not perfect and you have struggles.

The people who have been through the hardest experiences, the people who have the biggest scars on their souls.. they’re the world’s bravest people.

A final thought. I have been told I have a bitterness about me. You bet. I can’t believe that life has dealt me what it has so far. I can’t believe how some people have treated me. I can’t believe how some people enjoy the mental games, the manipulation, the control. I have had bad things happen to me. But the important thing is – and I am so proud of this –
I have lived through it. I am alive. I am damn proud of that. Many people would have ended it.  I may be bitter and anxious but I have an upside too: I am a wonderful woman and I am strong as hell.

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