Living with a Mental Illness is a Full-time Job

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It is. It really is. I read something about how you never truly recover from a mental illness. You just learn how to cope with it overtime. Sounds a bit grim doesn’t it? I have not suffered anything near the amount of pain that some people have, and can’t even begin to imagine what life might be like. What I do know, however, is how difficult and exhausting it can be to not only fight against yourself but the rest of the world as well.

You know what makes you feel better. You know you should get up early; take care of yourself; do exercise; eat healthily; avoid stimulants; take your medication; go to bed early; and so on. You know that all those things equal happy you. Stable you. But you’re still human. You don’t always want to do those things. Some days you just want to stay in bed and be a potato. One thing leads to another and you’re back to the beginning again.

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Other people don’t understand. They don’t know what it’s like to lose all the motivation you once had. They don’t know how tiring it can be to just be alive. They can’t hear the two contradicting voices in your head, constantly arguing with each other. They want you to do well, but not in the way you want to. You’re extremely grateful for everything you have, but you just wish people would stop tiptoeing around you like you’re broken property. Yet at the same time you want them to give you a break. To let you take things easy. You see? You’ve becoming a living and breathing contradiction. No wonder people don’t understand.

It’s trying to explain everything to them countless times. It’s rummaging up the courage to pick yourself back up to start over when you’ve fallen down. It’s trying as hard as you can to live a normal life, whatever normal means. It’s doing whatever it takes to break away from the false identity your illness has given you. It’s rediscovering who you were before any of this happened. That sure as hell doesn’t sound easy to me. So hold your head high and keep fighting. You’re doing great.

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