Mental Health is Not a Competition
I have been wanting to talk about this for a while from consideration of conversations I have had regarding anxiety and mental illness. I have a few points that I am going to throw out and this may really make some people mad but oh well, I am sure I have way more that can relate. I doubt many will actually be able to make it through this but I want to voice it all.
Since when did mental illness become a competition? No one likes struggling with the issues that they struggle with. One person's own issues are just that, that person's. Others may be able to relate but in the long run, that person is the only person that can full feel what they feel. Same goes for how they look at others. It goes both ways.
I have mentioned this before outside of mental health in other aspects of life : What may seem minuscule to some may be hell for others. There will always be someone in the world that probably has it worse than others - but that does NOT invalidate one's feelings and emotions and the hell they feel they are going through. Yea, it could probably be worse, but what someone feels in that moment is all that is needed.
One thing I have never understood: I speak and see so many people that struggle with anxiety and mental illness. I don't pass judgement for what they feel or say about themselves. I don't scream "oh you're on that cool train of having a problem" (yes, I have seen people say this), I don't claim to say they are lying and I don't judge their severity.
So it puts me back when people talk about how they relate to the struggles I have, they get it - but when I say I can't go into a grocery store alone without having a panic attack, I can't drive alone to an unfamiliar place, I can't ask for help if I'm lost or need help with literally anything, that it's so hard to plan out anything ahead of time because I don't know what my mental status will be like that day but at the same time I will freak out without a plan - those same people just don't get it.
They don't get it and want nothing to do with me because it doesn't make sense that I attach myself to people and actually will feel completely useless without being with someone. That at times for days on end I will stay in bed, or sometimes days on end I'll be full of life. Those same people call me crazy when I say my mind is a prison and that I am constantly making myself mad. The smallest things can send me into a fit of frustration, if I don't get something - I fight myself because I don't want to quit.
I talk about how holding a job is a literal nightmare for me, I have yet to find a single thing I could manage or enjoy doing without losing it from depression, mental breakdown, or anxiety. At times, it's downright embarrassing and it's a damned if I do and damned if I don't situation.
Life is funny that way - how as humans, we tend to pass judgement on one another while at the same time claiming to understand. I have problems keeping friendships - not because I don't know how because I tend to light up around people... and not because I don't conversate because despite the anxiety, I push myself to talk to strangers and always give each encounter respect and a smile... It's not because I completely flop in conversations... I just can't keep people interested I suppose. I am a very simplistic person. I don't truly want for much but I'd give all that I have.
Sometimes, it just hurts. This isn't a competition. This isn't something that I even want to struggle with - but I manage it. I never say that I suffer with any of these things. I manage them and I struggle but never suffer - I wouldn't be the person I am today without them.
While we are pushing hard and have come a long way with breaking stigmas, within our own communities is just as toxic as anyone from the outside looking in. Don't be that person.