Finding proof for certain beliefs is easy. Take: “I am alone,” “no one understands what I’m going through,” “I am a weak person for feeling the way I am feeling,” and “this will never end.” People don’t like discussing something they are struggling with, especially when it can come off as weak. You look at other people’s lives, either on social media or in person. A lot of times, people can be perceived as having great lives and having everything together. Then you look at your life. How last week you couldn’t pick yourself up to the floor. Or how you shame yourself when you take thirty minutes to leave the apartment for a night because you are nervous you missed something and your apartment will burn down. Maybe, you remember the times you don’t feel anything, or you felt that maybe if I crashed this car and had to be in a hospital for a few days things will be better. It’s when you feel sorry for people being in your life because they have to “put up” with you. It’s hard to see those pieces of your life, and think others are going through them as well.
Usually, when someone meets me for the first time, they think I am this cheerful, carefree girl. I smile a lot. I laugh a lot. I am good at pretending to be okay when I’m not. It’s not until I tell them outright what I’m struggling with that people take a step back. By looking and talking to me for the first time, they probably won’t know how I couldn’t get off my floor for an hour and half the night before. They probably pre-judge my life, and you know what, I do the same with others.
My depression is superb at convincing me that I’m not enough, there is no point in trying, everyone will leave me anyway, and I am the worst. I wanted to hide away and I did. I disappeared for a very long time. One day I decided not to hide anymore. I wanted to tell everyone that so many people struggle with mental health or mental illness and you are not alone.
Granted, everyone struggles in different ways, even with the same diagnosis. My anxiety probably will look a lot different than your anxiety. Your depression affects you differently than how my depression affects me. We are both still struggling. Knowing you are not alone, for me at least, is everything.
A lot of people struggle in silence. Maybe that’s all they can do right now. They don’t have the energy to speak and reach out, and that’s fine. I believe, when others hear stories about other people struggling, it can give them a little hope that they are not alone in fighting this.
It’s not just your fellow strugglers that will be there for you. There’s also ones that may not know what it is like to go through something similar, but they still want to support you and be there for you.
My story with anxiety and depression will be different than yours. I am struggling every day to try to be just a little bit better. I disappoint and frustrate others a lot. I’m still here, though. Hearing other people’s stories and struggles help me. What works for me, may not work for you. Everything is a process. But please know, you are not alone in that process.