‘Just Live’ Leah’s blog about her experiences of mental health

When it rains, umbrellas can be used to shelter us from the rain. Likewise, if you fall over and graze your knees, a plaster will help to protect them.

However, when suffering with a mental health condition it is almost the complete opposite.

Yes, I know, mental health is a topic that is commonly spoken about in this day and age, but I feel as if the severity is so misunderstood.

Coming to terms with the fact you have a chronic/critical physical illness is extremely difficult to be put through…

Unbeknownst to many, so is accepting that you are mentally ill.

To be contained within such a dark place within your own mind in hard enough, but the thought of recovering is an even bigger challenge. You persistently feel stupid, worthless. You want to get out of bed, have yourself a productive day, but you lose control of your body, your mind, and every last spark of motivation is fractured.

We are constantly at war with ourselves, and sleep becomes our only escape.

I just think that mental illness and its gravity is belittled to the point we are ashamed of ourselves, seen as “attention seekers”, but would you say the same to someone with cancer? Every single day, that sadness, emptiness, carves into your being and eventually we do not recognise ourselves and stare at ourselves in the mirror, tears streaming down our cheeks, begging ourselves to carry on.

Although the 450 million sufferers do not have broken arms, we are internally broken. All we want is someone to understand, someone to take the pain away because we don’t want to be poorly anymore. But realistically, all we need is patience, love, and support, because we stopped giving that to ourselves a long time ago.

Sharpeners were once used for pencils, but now for only retrieving the blade and painting our wrists red to escape the thoughts in our head. Painkillers were once used for headaches, but now for the fulfilment of self-destruction.

People think you’re like a car in a body shop; you go in, they fix you, and you’re out, working like brand new. It doesn’t work like that, you know? It takes constant fixing.

3 years on, 1 inpatient admission and 13 suicide attempts later, I have come to realise that my mental illness does not and will not define who I am. This will not defeat me, I will not let it. It is never too late to live happily ever after.

Please, just keep breathing again and again. This will pass, I promise it will pass.

Leah

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