What’s Not in The Picture
See this picture I just posted? Me, out with friends, celebrating my birthday, laughing, looking cute, appearing that I am fine. No sign of an illness. But what you don’t see is the anxiety I was paralyzed with moments before my friends came to pick me up.
Was I wearing the correct outfit? Would I have a good time? Would I be too tired? Would I cry? Would I say the right thing? Would I have an anxiety attack at my own birthday party?!
That’s what you don’t see, and that is why they call mental illness an ‘invisible illness’. And, I was happy there; I was actually enjoying myself. But that doesn’t mean that I’m always okay.
I Will No Longer Pretend
Exactly a week ago I was rooming at 06-68, 6 St. Johns Psychiatric Unit: Hackensack University Medical Center. After sitting in the waiting room for twelve hours, I voluntarily signed myself into the psychiatric unit for suicidal ideation. The night before was too rough to handle. The darkness was too scary. The thought of tomorrow was frightening.
How much longer can I pretend I am fine when I am not? Will I ever wake up again and feel that feeling of wanting to live?
I was done. Done with the indescribable emotional pain. Done with anxiety, done with my brain asking a billion questions, and done with the thinking and rethinking of my suicide plan and all the possibilities that could arise.
After spending 51 hours in the psych ward, after meeting so many inspiring people, caring nurses and validating therapists that helped me so much, after dealing with the changes of my medications and the side effects that came with them, the one very important sentence I came out with was this: I want to live.
And I am still not sure for what, nor do I have the answers to all my questions just yet. But there is hope, and I will find the answers one day. The “light” in me has turned back on.
My Next Instagram Picture
Next time you see me, looking fine and happy on the outside, realize that I am just trying to keep myself together on the inside. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Please don’t be so quick to judge. A lot can be hidden behind a smile.
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- Dear Instagram World - October 7, 2018
3 Comments on “Dear Instagram World”
I assume I am older than you are, and with that assumption, I know what it means to put on a good face. But recently, I have stopped. I have started a group on Facebook for adults, and i openly post my own issues and articles from all kinds of publications in order to teach others about this stigma we live with. The stigma is that we must not talk about mental illness… about mood disorders and so forth, in the event that we will be ostracized.
Most people who have no problems with our issues, are very quick to judge. Most people who live free of mood disorders don’t understand at all what it means to be affected by an invisible illness. You do, and I do. And if statistics are true, one in 4 people has a form of mental illness. There is no shame in having an illness of the body. We should not be ashamed of an illness of our soul and mind. That’s all well and good, but many of our friends fall by the wayside when we admit to these issues. I believe it’s ignorance. So then, it’s our job to teach others how we live with it, and how they can help us.
Just wanted to say…. thanks for sharing.
Wow thank you so much for your validating words!
I am happy to share my own experiences…and I do not believe that it is just the Jewish community that shuns or hides mental illness…. it is everyone.
I am being brazen, even in this day and age, to say all i feel on Facebook page. I cannot say it has brought me friends. In fact, I think I’ve scared off alot of people.
The world as yet doesn’t accept Depression etc. as illnesses. We have to keep asserting ourselves and talking about it. No one really cares after all….perhaps one or two very close friends or family members. And of those, no one does much to help.
It is sad for me to say this. You need very special people around you to “get it” and to be support for you…..find them. Show them that you are you and not your illness. You will always be you.