I have spent a huge amount of my life pretending everything was fine. But the truth was: I was barely holding it all together. Using glue to hold the pieces in place. Plastering on a fake smile and going about my day. All the while the rapidly drying glue was cracking in places and the plaster was crumbling. No one else knew, no one else saw what was happening. I knew exactly when to smile and where to hide so I could keep my secrets to myself.
I perfected the art of camouflage.
But inside, I saw what was happening. I felt the storm raging on in the dark corners of my mind. Pulling me further and further into the darkness. I felt the tug from both directions at once threatening to tear me in half, to break me.
I was using all my energy trying to make sure not to show any signs of weakness on the outside. But inside of me I was exhausted. All I saw was where I went wrong, what I did wrong, and how very weak I really was.
For me the signs of mental illness were there as a child. I had some very traumatic experiences at a very young age and the problems began not long after. Anxiety, rapid speech, pressured speech, followed by severe depression then back full circle again.
I was struggling with who I was behind my dim soulless eyes. I was changing, and I was not sure I liked who I was becoming.
My days began running together. Wake, Eat, School, Sleep, Rinse-Repeat.
I was like a ghost at school drifting through the walls from class to class, teachers did not know how to speak to me, guidance counselors did not know what to do with me. And I had all but given up on myself.
My grades went down hill and I began loosing interest in school. I lost friends and I most certainly lost myself.
I remember situations where my mouth kept talking where I should have kept it shut. I talked and talked and talked. At times people couldn’t understand me, I was constantly told to slow down. Breathe.
I spent more time with anxiety and in depression. I cried myself to sleep. I was ashamed, I was afraid, and I prayed. Boy did I pray. I prayed for help, I prayed for guidance, I prayed for a savior. But none came.
So finally I prayed for death….
….But that never came either.