I wrote this on my tumblr last night. I got some really great responses, so decided to post here as well · photo via happydyingsun
Just because I’m a blogger, just because I choose to share parts of my life with the internet, just because I’m open about my experiences and share my knowledge of mental illness with others, does not mean it’s not genuine. I’m continually told “not to talk about it publicly”, as if I’m supposed to hide something that is such a huge part of who (and why) I am. Why would I do that?
“People with anxiety would never put themselves out there” — you see, that’s where you’re wrong. Not everyone’s anxiety is the same. Just because I post pictures of myself wearing makeup on the internet doesn’t mean that some days I don’t struggle to leave my bed, let alone the house.
“But you have friends and you’re attractive” — what does that even have to do with having a mental illness or disorder? Yes, having friends and taking care of my appearance certainly helps me when I’m feeling down, but it most definitely doesn’t prevent/fix anything.
“Stop worrying so much” — see, that’s the thing. It’s not something you can turn off. You can be totally okay one minute, just busying yourself, washing dishes and BAM. Flashbacks of trauma. Uneasiness. Panic sets. You can breathe it out, but it doesn’t just suddenly disappear. So many think that it’s something you can just stop, but it’s not. If it were, don’t you think I would?
“Just suck it up and get over yourself. Pop a Xanax and shut up.” — would you tell someone with asthma or another sickness/disorder to suck it up? Having a mental illness or disorder is no different. This is what so many fail to understand. It’s not something that we can suddenly just fix, and it’s certainly not something someone chooses to have. Pop a Xanax? As if I haven’t heard that before. Thank you for belittling what I have to something that can be so quickly cured with a small pill! So quick to judge and tell people what to do, yet completely uneducated about the subject.
I write about my experiences with anxiety, panic disorder, and PTSD because it has helped and continues to help people understand. It also helps me. I think the worst part of it all is the ridiculous hate I seem to get because I choose to talk publicly about something that deeply affects my daily life. I will continue to write and share — if you don’t want to hear/read, then don’t.
I’m not ashamed.