The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Category: Depression

Why You Must Never Give Up On Life – By A Man Who Nearly Did

Today I have read by far one of the best accounts on depression and anxiety I have every read. Whether you are looking to understand it more, or you have suffered/are suffering now, this article my Matt Haig is beautifully written and brings hope to anyone struggling to see light at the end of the long dark tunnel:

Suicide kills more people than most other forms of violence – warfare, terrorism, domestic abuse, assault, gun crime – put together. This makes depression one of the deadliest diseases.

Yet people still don’t think depression really is that bad. If they did, they wouldn’t say the things they say. Here are the things people say to depressives that they don’t say in other life-threatening situations:

  • ‘Come on, I know you’ve got tuberculosis but it could be worse. At least no one’s died.’
  • ‘Yes, I know, colon cancer is hard, but you want to try living with someone who has got it. Sheesh. Nightmare.’
  • ‘Oh, Alzheimer’s, you say? Oh, tell me about it – I get that all the time.’
  • ‘Ah, meningitis. Come on, mind over matter.’
  • ‘Yes, yes, your leg is on fire. But talking about it all the time isn’t going to help things, is it?’

Read more:

Does This Letter Prove That Society Cultivates Mental Illness?

Last week I wrote a post about publishing an old letter I wrote to myself at age 18 during my first year of university. I have spent all day fretting about whether or not this is a good idea. Whether it will leave me vulnerable to ridicule and judgement.

Reading it has however made me wonder about the role society plays in nurturing psychological disorders amongst young adults. For instance, how much does our society cultivate and even benefit from low self-esteem and does it trigger a host of serious mental health issues such as social anxiety, self-harming and eating disorders?

And how much did my own insecurities about how I looked, feed the dark demons of my depression?

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The Things I Don’t Want People To Know

They say you should write what you know, but I think it’s the things we don’t want people to know about us that have the most power to invoke real emotion and change because it’s at our most vulnerable and honest.

I have always written openly about my thoughts, shared my hopes and dreams, and generally opened up my heart to those who wish to read about it. However, I believe everyone has a side they don’t want anyone to see. It’s this part of you that you try to forget or pretend doesn’t exist, that you protect ferociously from all outside predators, like a lioness protecting her cub.

There are things I don’t want people to know about me. Because I’m embarrassed, ashamed. Because they are not self-depreciating, humble or ‘cute’. They are ugly and often extraordinarily absurd.

Moving house (which we are at the end of this month) always means clearing out a lot of things you haven’t looked at since you last moved. You know, the things that move from one unused drawer to another? During a clear-out last weekend, I came across my old letters and memorabilia documenting my life. Like the scars on my arms and legs that will never completely fade, these letters to myself mean I will never forget the pain and destruction I felt as a young girl. While they make for incredibly uncomfortable reading, they are also an amazing way to remember how much I have overcome.

Deciding to publish one of these on my blog was an incredibly difficult decision, one I’m not even sure right now is the right one. But, while I do not recognise the scared young 18 year old who wrote those words, they might help another young girl or woman not feel as alone or ashamed as I did.

Opening myself up to judgment and ridicule by revealing the deepest darkest secrets of my past is not something I have done with ease. Because I have come such a long way from the scared little girl I was, it is as a strong and well balanced woman that this is an incredibly humiliating experience.

Be kind, for unless you have experienced the demons that can possess your mind and drive you to the deepest darkest moment of your life, you will not understand how reality can become completely distorted by your own truth. It is as though you are wearing broken glasses out of which you see the whole world and the people in it.

Unless I change my mind (highly possible!), one of these letters will be published early next week.

Vlog Diary Entry #5 – Letting Go Of Anger

Well it was about time for another video diary! Like writing, I can’t force them so I’m sorry it’s taken such a long time for me to post another.

Last week was so stressful that I felt myself shutting down. My body and mind does this to protect itself and until I am able to process what is happening in my own time, if I am pushed and forced out of that ‘quiet’ state for example, I get angry.

In this video I talk about what has caused this anger, such as my need to people please, and also how I deal with it so it doesn’t control me or do any damage to myself in the way it used to.

Thank you for watching 🙂

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