- 4 years ago
Thought about going anon for this, but realized essentially I am anonymous anyway as this is the internet! Plus, it wouldn’t be helping the issue of stigma that surrounds mental illness. So many people are ashamed to say they suffer from mental illness and in turn, suffer in silence. While I don’t hide it, I don’t open conversations with “Hi, I’m jcud4 and I have depression and varying degrees of anxiety”, so I am selective in who I let in on this part of me. Almost always, when people find out they will say something like “Wow, I never would have guessed!” or “But you seem so happy!” or “Really? You’re so normal”. The last one is the worst. Does suffering from mental illness make one abnormal?
This past year has been particularly challenging. I left a horrible work environment, struggled with insomnia, was medicated for the insomnia, put on 30 lbs because of the medication and was the biggest I’ve ever been, my self-esteem in turn suffered horribly (meanwhile I started a new job), came off the medication, endured horrible withdrawl symptoms including constant nausea, the nausea made me anxious to leave the house as I didn’t want to be sick in public, my new job quickly revealed itself to be equally as toxic with extremely high turnover because of this (ironically it’s a counselling office of all places!), and now stress from my job coupled with my persistant nausea has my anxiety through the roof.
I will be seeing a counsellor soon to work through all this, but safe to say it’s been a rough few months. SO has been incredibly supportive, which I’m thankful for, but I feel awful that he has to ‘put up’ with me. I know that’s the depression talking, but I hate the thought of being a burden on my loved ones. We’ve discussed marriage and picked a date for next winter (also I accidentally found the ring, eek!), however I don’t feel good about moving forward with these plans while I’m in this state. I know, I know it’s for better or worse, in sickness and in health (which he made sure to remind me off today), but I would much rather start our marriage off on the ‘better’ side of things!
In the spirit of World Mental Health Day, I want to hear from other bees who have struggled or are struggling with mental illness. How are you coping? What has been the most challenging aspect for you? Have friends and family been supportive? If you are a parent, are you worried about your children being impacted? How has it impacted your career? Did you experience physical symptoms as well?
I’m not necessarily looking for advice, just wanted to hear stories from other women who have also dealt with similar issues and show that we are not alone!
TLDR: Dealing with mental illness sucks, let’s commiserate!