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 that 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.
Remember, judge, never. Kind, always.
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