When the Walls Come Down

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Communication is a tricky thing. It especially hurts when I disclose information to friends and they “give me space” so I can heal on my own or they give unsolicited advice— advice I already get from my parents who are way more concerned about my future than about my well-being.

I know you have good intentions, but when I share what I’m going through, please don’t tell me the problems you have with my decision. I can see your perspective, how it may seem from an outsider looking in. I must seem like a naïve, lost child who needs to be pushed into the reality of the world.

But that’s not why I chose to bare my latest, innermost torment to you. I chose to do so because I trust you. I trust that you care for me enough that you will support me. I don’t need a “yes-man”, nor do I need another parental-like lecture– I need a hug. I need some sympathy and compassion. I need to hear the words, “Whatever you have decided, I will love and support you to the end. I believe in you, and you will be alright once this phase passes because you are capable and you will always have people by your side.”

I do not need to re-live the consequences of my decision. It was a very painful one to make in the first place; for the first time in my life, I was finally putting my health before school, before my career, before my future. I do not need to be questioned after making such a difficult decision. I should not have to feel like I need to justify my actions.. above all — I should not have to justify why I chose my health over my uni graduation to my dear friends. Although I appreciate your concern and your honesty, I did not ask for your opinion.

I cannot plan ahead, not right now. I’m barely making it through the week without an anxiety attack. Being challenged about my life choices is a huge trigger for my anxiety attacks since I’ve had to do that my whole life to my family. I don’t want or need another person in my life that slams the way I live my life when I’ve already made my peace with the fact that I cannot go on living the way I was living. I cannot continue living under everyone else’s expectations for me. It was too much pressure (and it still is) that I keep relapsing into these depressed and anxious episodes. I want to stop feeling numbingly sad. But I can’t do that if I’m surrounded by people who cannot differ between the moments when I need a friend and times when I need a parent.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is:

“Please… for the sake of similarly vulnerable friends who disclose information to you about their mental health, do not belittle their feelings, thoughts, or choices. They are doing their best to cope. They are re-learning how to live life and they have enough on their plates — please do not force feed your opinions or (what you may think is helpful) advice down their throats. However, unless they ask for it, it’s not what they want to hear in that terribly, emotionally naked moment. You did not live through it, so you will never truly understand the state of exhaustion they are in. People like me, cannot simply “snap out of it” or “get better soon”. People like me undergoing a depressive episode, are fighting off their suicidal ideations. Ask questions if you’re curious about what they are going through and if they are already opening up to you about their invisible illnesses, it’s likely they will answer you because they — like all other human beings– just want to be understood.

It’s the daily hustle, and it would be nice to receive a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to hold when the walls come down, that’s all.

 

Stay Golden,

YoungHumble.

 

 

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Silently Suffering

life

Hello blogosphere,

**mental health trigger warning**

Lately I’ve be going through some stuffs — major change of plans and for a while there, I was feeling like I had no control over what was going over my life and.. well, with my mental health, having no control, getting little sleep, and the stress of finals season => *cue the triggering of my latest mental health relapse*. I like to refer to these episodes as losing balance because in reality, that’s what they truly are.. I take on too much, I get too many feels, and *boom* I’m having a panic attack in a corner somewhere. And then I have multiple anxiety attacks, insomnia, and persistent nausea before I realize — right, this is not normal. I need help.

This may seem like a very backwards way of living, but it’s just how my brain works (for now), and I’m still learning how to recognize these patterns of behaviour before they get out hand. However, it’s easier said than done.

This time, I was so excited at the idea of graduating uni next month that drove me into a hyper-energized euphoric state. I was finally happy with the grades I was getting, I was excited to experience life without school, I was day-dreaming about my upcoming travel plans.. I suddenly had so much energy and ideas that I kept losing track of time and one night of 2 hours of sleep became 3 nights of barely sleeping at all, which lead into a week of insomnia. Just like how a computer left running for too long spontaneously shuts down, my body was exhausted and my systems started crashing. I was nauseous,  disoriented, light-headed, physically weak, my heart was beating way too fast, I had a hard time breathing, and I couldn’t regulate my body temperature properly.

Negative thoughts relating to my body image, my social reputation, substance abuse, and self-harm started creeping their way back into my head. The thoughts paired with the physiological symptoms that come with anxious and depressive episodes lead to me checking myself into the hospital on campus.

I have a bad habit of downplaying my conditions when communicating with others (including medical professionals). So it’s not surprising that they turned me away when I asked for a doctor’s note, because they believed that I sounded as though I was “stressed”, and not having a mental breakdown. They even made a point of correcting my language when I said the words, “mental illness” .. they said that my concern was about “mental health, not an illness”. This was both frustrating and infuriating because I have a mental illness. My GP unofficially officially diagnosed me with major manic depression (aka bipolar disorder) nearly 3 years ago. It seemed unfair of them to correct my language before asking me about my whole medical history..

And this was not the first time that I’ve felt belittled by health-care professionals. The last time was by a psychologist at the on-campus counselling offices. She had suggested that I could perhaps be “using my symptoms of my mental state to receive attention.” after our first follow-up appointment. A;lsfdjakl;fjdl;akfjl;askfj;aljf Sighhhhhhhhhhh, NO.

I’m sick, I came to you for help (which takes a lot of courage in the first place). Why are you not listening to me? Is it my fault? Or are you not asking the right questions? Maybe it’s a combination of both. I can’t say for sure. But if there’s one thing that I know: we have GOT to stop treating mental health like a fruit fly, swatting it away whenever it comes around. We need to share our struggles, our revelations, and our growth — we need to start conversations on how health specialists can better help folks who have this invisible illness. They are silently suffering and it’s not fair. If someone had gotten into a car accident, would you say it’s probably because “they were stressed”? Would you say that they got into the car crash because they were “craving attention”?… Whether vulnerable patients are showing physical symptoms or not, everyone deserves the right to be heard, to be validated, and most importantly, to be treated.

Mental health is not a fruit fly, it’s a killer wasp.

 

That’s all for now, my little Ponies. Stay Golden. ❤

 

YoungHumble, out.