All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Day 11: What is the worst thing about your mental illness?

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pretendtobenormal

The last prompt in the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge asked what is the best thing in regard to your mental illness, so it stands to reason that today it asks what is the worst thing in regard to your mental illness?

Although there are many ‘worst’ things about having a mental illness – the stereotyping, the psychiatric system, the stigma, the violent mood swings, the suicidal urges – far and away top of the list would be that it stops me from ‘being me’, or rather, it stops the real world from seeing the real me.

It’s not that they just see my ‘label’; it’s that the illnesses I suffer from (especially the social anxiety) prevent me from being me when I’m around other people. It forces me into becoming an obscenely quiet (borderline mute) individual who’ll sit there like an imbecile until someone says something to him, at which point he’ll mumble something incoherently and return to his stoic stupor when the attention is (thankfully) off him.

When I’m around other people, I’m just the ‘overweight’, ‘fugly’ guy who has no friends and nothing intelligible to say.

No-one witnesses my passions, my complication, my intricacies. They don’t see the random awesomeness that lurks beneath the surface because – whether a result of illness or trauma – I’m too terrified to let anyone see the ‘real’ Addy.

Certainly, there are times throughout this blog where my real self has shone through, and even the odd occasion when I’ve been able to show this to the world, but they are in no way as frequent or noticeable as I would like.

Perhaps one day I’ll find a coping strategy that manages my negative self-view and lack of confidence, because this is far and away the worst thing in regard to my mental illness.

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8 thoughts on “Day 11: What is the worst thing about your mental illness?

  1. OH MY GOD YOU ARE NOT FUGLY. I’m pretty sure i’ve mentioned before that you are very nice looking. SEE IT. xox

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    • I know, I know. In my defense, my body image issues have been heightened lately by the (horrible) side-effect of weight gain from a med increase and all the time I’ve spent at the gym surrounded by all manner of buff and in-shape men and women. Occasionally I do catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think ‘yep, pretty hot!’…so hopefully those moments will become the norm over time! :)

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  2. Also, i’ve been privileged to get many wonderful glimpses of the REAL Addy and he is sweet, funny, smart and thoughtful. I’m proud to call myself his friend. And lucky.

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  3. Pingback: We all have our reasons. | Where I Stand

  4. Your courage and openness are greater than you think. I have felt crippled by my mental illness and am on disability. I hate the waste of time and the poverty. I am trying to find a situation for me that will not be stressful. I have succeeded in low-stress jobs in the past. I’m looking into bookkeeping. Please know you are much stronger than me in all that you do for others. I appreciate all you do in Mental Health Awareness. You are amazing.

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    • Thank you so much for your exceedingly kind comment! :) It’s always been hard for me to accept such praise, hence why my mind won’t acknowledge the courage/openness that other people see in me. It does frustrate me and I hope one day I’ll get to a place where I can see how amazing I am.

      Personally I think anyone who speaks out about mental health is amazing, yourself included! :)

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  5. Pingback: 30MIAC Day 11: Round Up/Results | Marci, Mental Health, & More

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