My journey from acceptance of my mental illness through finding therapists and medications and other help to internal decisions to just STOP some of the self-destructive thoughts and behaviors hasn’t been lengthy, time-wise, but has been quite a ride. I don’t expect to ever fully get off this depression/anxiety/self-esteem train, so let the ride continue!
. . . I’ve been kicking myself around quite a lot throughout my life, never satisfied or happy with who I was, and always having a fairly low opinion of myself. Somehow, it was always in the background for decades, but recently made a quantum leap to the fore* and has not only affected me but has affected those near me as well. Seeing the path of destruction that I’ve left wherever I trod has been a real eye opener. I’ve hurt people around me, and have made life unacceptably and unnecessarily difficult for them, not the least of which is my [fiancée] Summer Solstice Girl. . .
Mental illness, even now in 2015, is unlike other illnesses. There’s this stigma associated with it that keeps it from being an easy topic to discuss. It’s as if we’re in the 17th century, waiting for someone to take us to the asylum or the crazy house if we’re found out. We talk openly about leukemia and other cancers, about diabetes and broken limbs, about Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. No one doubts the veracity of claims of cancer or MS. No one loses a job because of diabetes or a broken arm. With mental illness, being such an invisible illness and in a dizzying array of forms, those things don’t hold true. I know this because I’m a prime example of one who doesn’t readily speak of it openly. Sure, I have a blog where I dabble in it every now and then – and Ruby, I’d like my dabbling to become more frequent, by the way – but I don’t bring it up often in conversations at the pub or at family gatherings. I also don’t bring it up at work. I’ve already lost one job, a job I loved dearly, because of my depression and its effects, so I keep quiet when at work, and I’ve been keeping quiet as I interview for more suitable work for myself too. I just won’t risk losing out on an opportunity by declaring in an interview that I have depression and anxiety issues. Why? The world, and the employers in it, aren’t ready to accept that I’m still a functioning, intelligent, capable person if I mention that I have a mental illness.
Read more of Sid’s story. Visit Blog for Mental Health 2015 | UnFocused.