Also, if you are going to date someone with a mental illness (or any illness) make sure you have accepted that they might not get better for a very long time, if ever.
Do not enter the relationship thinking that you can fix them or that they will be fine in a few months. Never do that.
Movies really give us a false sense of what happens in these cases.
this is important
As a severe chronic illness sufferer, I so often get asked “how do you do it? You’re so strong!”
The answer is simple: I do it because I have to. You’ve got no other choice but to be strong. That’s how you do it.
Wait that’s the lowest point? I’m so fucked lol
it’s waking up from a restless night of sleep, bracing yourself to face the day.
it’s willing your body to make it two more steps, so you can brush your teeth.
it’s compromising looking decent for having a bit more energy.
it’s realizing how tired you are…and it’s only nine in the morning.
it’s trying desperately to focus on your professor’s words.
it’s constant shifting to try and get a bit more comfortable.
it’s holding back the tears as you remember that meeting.
it’s nap time, because without it you would collapse.
it’s telling people no, not because you don’t want to but because you can’t.
it’s always feeling like you’ve let someone down.
it’s nagging pressure to try and act normal.
it’s your body shutting down when you do that.
it’s a phone book’s worth of doctor’s office numbers.
it’s lab work every month.
it’s eight, ten, twelve pills a day (or more).
it’s hoping and praying that this new treatment is effective.
it’s looking normal but knowing you’re not.
it’s judgmental glares from strangers when you take the elevator, not the stairs.
it’s misunderstanding from friends who truly do care.
it’s not fair, but you deal.
it’s giving up the life you thought you’d have because you can’t physically do it.
it’s seeing other people happy and healthy and wanting it for yourself.
it’s emotional and physical pain, twenty-four seven.
it’s wishing it would all go away.
it’s hearing you’ll never be able to have children.
it’s feeling inadequate and invisible.
it’s wanting what you’ll never have.
it’s the worry that something else will pop up.
it’s fibro and lupus and hashimoto’s and crohn’s.
it’s CFS and PCOS and CAH and RA.
it’s endometriosis and celiac and cushing’s and MS.
it’s chronic illness, and it’s your life.
i promise i’m not depressed; well, at least not in the sense that i’m gonna go and do something cray. no, i have a strong support system and for that i am eternally grateful. but it’s been a rough week. i feel as if i went from the mountain top last week to the darkest valley this week - and it is all because of my stupid immune system.
invisible, chronic, autoimmune illness has plagued my life. there are some days when i say that everything is going to be alright, that i’m alright, that it’s just another thing, that there is medicine for that. then there are some days, like today, when i’m so spent i can’t even make it out of the apartment. i use up the little energy i have on homework and have nothing left for friends.
one thing that i’m learning - and that my mom reiterated to me earlier today - is that i have to stop worrying so much about what other people think, because it’s not their body that pays the price for me pushing myself too hard. and she’s right. as whiny as it may sound, any person with chronic illness can tell you that if you push yourself just a bit too much, you pay for it the next day. and it takes a while to pay for it, because it creates this snowball effect of trying to catch up on the stuff you miss while you’re paying for pushing yourself too hard, and the vicious cycle continues.
i just want so desperately to lead a normal life, but that is an impossibility. the only thing i can do is make the most of what i have, and learn to love myself, to take care of myself, and to be all i can be.
this all happened for a reason, i’m sure of it.
one day i’ll know.
for now, while i try and conserve the spoons i have left, i thank God for specialists who seem to know what they are doing (even though i had to go through some crummy ones first) and for my support system, those loved ones who never fail to make me smile, even on the dark days.
Not all disabilities are visible.
Every single decision of every single day of my life is dictated by making what appear to most people as silly little harmless choices, but to me are huge decisions. Do I make breakfast or do I save that spoon for taking care in choosing clothing that is societally acceptable? (e.g. not sweatpants and whatever happens to be closest to my bed.) When I was in school it was do I cook or do I study. Now it’s do I cook or do I clean the house? Do I try and save up my spoons so that I can go out and see my friend’s band on Friday night knowing full well that I will be completely and utterly wiped out for at least 3 or 4 days afterwards?
Some people know. Or at least they know I’m disabled. The Service Dog is a giveaway. But they don’t understand how big of an impact it is on my life or why my house looks like the aftermath of a tornado or why it is so hard for me to fucking feed myself properly on a daily basis, let alone drag my ass out of the house.
These things are very very real. You probably know someone struggling with a chronic illness or invisible disability. (For information about Spoon Theory, i.e. why we’re talking in “spoons” please read Christine Miserandino's amazing post on the subject here.)
- What to do when your friend is talking about suicide
- What to do if someone you know is overdosing
- What to do if your friend is hurting themselves
- First Aid for self harm
Finding Therapy, Doctors, & Medication
- Something Fishy - How will I pay?
- Mental Health America - How do I find treatment?
- Free/Cheap Medication
- The Medicine Program
- Find a Therapist
- Good Therapy.org
- Insurance Issues
- Qualities and Skills of a Good Counselor
- The Difference Between a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Therapist & Counselor
- Extreme Hunger During Recovery
- About Water Retention During Recovery
- 281 Reasons to Recover
- Relapse Prevention
- Dealing with Bloating in Recovery
- Bloating, Indigestion, & Feeling too full
- Talking to Others About Your Mental Health Issues
- Managing Stress
- Why You Must Eat
- What is ED Recovery?
- You have no obligation to be weighed
- Learning to Love Your Body
- True Facts Our Abuse-Culture Doesn’t Want You to Know
- Tips to Overcoming and Eating Disorder from Women Who Have Recovered
- How to Eat a Fear Food
- 16 Baby Steps to Help You Cope with the Pain of Perfectionism
- 10 Things to Do When You Feel Like Crap
- Why You Should NOT Self-DiagnoseSubstance Addictions:
Restrictive Eating Disorders:
- Phases of Recovery From a Restrictive ED
- Tips to Stop Restricting
- Why You Must Regain Weight to Recover
- Eating Disorder Support Groups
- Gaining Weight After Anorexia: What To Expect
- Dealing With Weight Gain
Binge & Compensate Disorders:
Binge ED/Compulsive Eating Disorders
- Food Addicts Anonymous Meeting Finder
- Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
- The “I need to lose weight” Mindset with BED
- Eating Disorder Support Groups
- Daily Meditation for Compulsive Overeating/Binge EatingGeneral Anxiety:
- Coping with Suicidal Thought
- 10 Tips on How to Work Through Feelings of Social Isolation
- 8 Tips to Overcome Loneliness
- Tips On Dealing With Depression In College
- Antidepressants: Selecting one that’s right for you
- What to expect with antidepressants
Family and Friends:
what i mean when i say “i can’t do that” - the depression edition
- i am unable to do that
- i don’t have the energy to do that
- i cannot wrap my head around what you’re asking me to do
- there is too much in my head right now
- i can not do that
what people hear:
- i am unwilling to do that
- i am being stubborn for no reason
- i am being dramatic
- i am lazy
- i need you to repeat that only louder
- i need a push
- i don’t want to do that
Bless this post
This applies to PTSD as well (and bipolar and chronic illness…. Yeah you get the point)