Its been a whole year today since I first published a post on The Mighty telling people about my mental illness (which you can read here) and in that time I’ve realised a number of things. One of those is how incredibly hard I have been, and still continue to be on myself and how little self esteem I have.
When I was initially diagnosed with my mental illness, I convinced myself that I was broken. It is a feeling that hasn’t quite gone away and it is a feeling that seems to fluctuate at various times, depending on my head space, what else is going on in my life and what kind of medication I’m on.
Most of the time, I’m still convinced that since my brain isn’t quite as functional everyone else, that makes me different.
Fractured. Fragmented. Not quite right.
And yet everyday I’m trying to come to the terms with the idea that I’m not broken, I’m just a little bent.
I may have scars from where I tried to cut out all the pain and sew myself back together but that doesn’t make me broken.
I may take medication daily to increase my levels of ‘happy hormones’ but that doesn’t make me broken.
There may be an intense and overwhelmingly constant battle in my head between the depression and the anxiety but that doesn’t make me broken.
There may be days where I am incredibly hard on myself because I’m so incredibly unhappy but that doesn’t make me broken.
There may be times where I lack control and feel numb and have panic attacks that I can’t stop but that doesn’t make me broken.
There may be times when it feels like the pressure I put on myself is breaking me but it won’t. It will never break me.
Thinking of myself as broken makes me feel like I’m a piece of china that can’t ever be put back together quite right or used in the same way again. That’s not true – I will eventually be okay. Eventually my brain won’t work against me everyday. This may mean taking medication everyday for the rest of my life or making a regular time to check in with myself but that’s alright.
Sometimes I just really need to remind myself to be gentle. I am ill. I am hurting. I may be a little bent, but I am in no way broken. And I am recovering. I may always be bent, but I will never be broken.
I may not bend back into the shape I once was but that’s also okay. I don’t want to be who I was. I want to be strong and brave and happy which are some of the things my mental illness took away from me. And yet, at the same time, it is all the things recovering forces me to be.
So if you’re suffering from a mental health issue, or heartbreak, or grief – this is a reminder you are not broken, you’re just a little bent. And this pressure is making you stronger than you have ever been before. After all, diamonds are made under the weight of mountains.