Are you ever alone in a room and instantly feeling like something is watching you? Or do you ever feel like you are sick and there is something wrong with your body, but you can’t see it? That’s how I feel every day living with mental illnesses that are undiagnosed.
You see I went to counseling before I ever knew what anxiety or depression was. Yet every time I went, those were the words that would appear on the paper after describing my days or weeks or how I felt. Yet no one had the heart to diagnose me to tell me what was really going on.
I never found out I was undiagnosed until 3 years after going to see a counselor. You see there’s a difference between a counselor and a psychiatrist. One can diagnose you and the other cannot.
For years people would tell me what I was feeling was invalid. Simply because I hadn’t gotten the courage to see someone who could tell me exactly what was wrong.
You see I knew in my heart that it was just anxiety. But it was the anxiety that was telling me it could be so much worse.
It’s scary because I want to know. Yet, I can’t stop wondering if it’ll cost me my job. If finding out it’s real will make me ineligible to help people.
That’s a scary thought…
..what’s even scarier though is the idea that if I don’t combat this to keep my job, the stress of the job could cost me my sanity.
The world we live in is far from being okay talking about mental health.
For years we are taught that those with mental disabilities were automatically insane or absurd.
At the same time people with seizures were thought to be possessed. Yet when science found a medical cure, they were accepted.
In this world however, even with the multitudes of documents that prove mental disabilities simply come from a chemical imbalance, there is still a huge stigma surrounding it.
Why is that only those who suffer from illnesses or disabilities with physical symptoms have an understanding in the societal realm?
There are many of us who suffer from real things, but they are on the inside. The outside world isn’t as scary as the one we create in our minds, the one where every laugh is directed at us even if it really isn’t. The world where everything right can go wrong in a split second.
I sit down, and I think about everything I’ve ever done in the past, all the choices I’ve ever made, and sometimes the guilt is just all consuming. The guilt may not even be my own, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.
Once it sets in there is no stopping what happens, each time a little piece of my soul tears away. Each memory takes a little piece of me with it, slowly destroying who I am from the inside out.
The anxiety and depression take over, bit by bit painstakingly taking me deeper into the dark. While I can see the light at the top, I know that I am too far gone in the pit to be saved.
The demons inside weigh heavy on my chest, but then I breathe for a second. I shut them down and lock them inside with a key. I put on a smile and try not to wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t want people to know that I need to scream. So, I nod my head with a smile, and aim to please.