Written by Taylor Jones.
I’ve always been very open about my mental illness; and I know that’s not a common thing. I’ve made public statuses, blog posts, and announcements. I think I told my entire friend group the day I got out of the hospital in high school about my suicide attempt right at Senior Beach Day, as if I was talking about college orientation. I’m a very open person; it’s more of a curse than a blessing in my opinion, but that’s who I am.
Still as open as I am about my mental health and the baggage that comes along with it, there’s one part of my illness that I keep silent about; the long term.
It’s an awful thought thinking I will have to live a long life with a mental illness.
I try the best I can to not focus on the long term of my mental illness, simply because it terrifies me thinking that one day I might be an 80 year old woman with manic rage, severe depression, and still struggling with suicidal thoughts. I terrifies me that there’s a chance I could live a long time and still succumb to the evils of my mind. But mostly, it’s an awful thought thinking I will have to live a long life with a mental illness.
I am still in my early 20’s right now, and the thought of surviving my 20s is already an overwhelming thought.
I think there’s times I think that it will go away; but that’s not how this works. I’m not going to magically wake up someday and be cured of my diagnosis. I’m always going to have to work hard to keep a balance in my head. I’m going to have to check my mania, and make sure I’m not indulging in harmful behaviors. I’m always going to need to monitor my drinking in fear that I could have one drink too many and slip into an episode. I will have to make sure I leave my house enough to not be depressed. And I’m most likely going to need intensive care if/when suicidal thought occur. I am still in my early 20’s right now, and the thought of surviving my 20s is already an overwhelming thought. I’m at a place where I constantly compare myself to my peers, and it’s so damaging to my mental health. What if I’m not an established woman by 30? What if by 40 I still don’t own a house? Will I be driving by 50? Will I even make it to 60?
Thinking long term can be a horrific thought for me.
Thinking long term can be a horrific thought for me. Knowing I’ll have to live with my diagnosis makes me angry; it’s unfair. I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s not my fault I have a mental condition. Why is this my life?
The life sentence that is mental illness is a hard pill to swallow.
The life sentence that is mental illness is a hard pill to swallow. It takes a lot of time to grasp that this will always be your life. But I have hope that I’ll find the right way to treat my mental illness, and will find balance in years to come.