I was afraid.
I was afraid others would think I was mentally unwell and should be in intensive therapy
I was afraid others would overanalyse my behaviour.
I was afraid I would be perceived as professionally less capable (even though sleep is not really that closely related to underrating).
I was afraid of being judged and losing credibility.
I was also afraid people would turn away,
overwhelmed by the burden I had imposed on them…
Obviously, none of these situations were what I wanted, so instead, I stayed quiet.
I stayed silent around the demons in my head, the voices, the self destruction.
Though you could physically see it, I would always say I was ‘ok’ and ‘fine’ and ‘nothing to worry about’.
And by doing so, I stayed trapped – trapped inside the illness.
Not realising that others – perhaps you – were going through almost exactly the same thing, just in a different way.
My struggle has been anorexia.
Maybe yours has been binge eating, bulimia, anxiety, depression or bipolar.
And because we are all so afraid that we will be judged,
That people will think we are less adequate,
We – collectively – walk around saying we are fine, when really, we are not.
And it serves no one.
Hiding away our own darkness only encourages others to do the same.
And, owning our darkness also encourages others to do the same.
Though it is scary sometimes to share the deepest darkness I have inside me – even to this day –
I know I must.
Not only for my own healing, but for those around me too.
I know my actions inspire others to own their darkness –
which loosens the reign, the chokehold,
the stigma we hold over our own perceived inadequacies and failures.
Having mental illness does not make you less than who you are.
Equally, not having a mental illness does not make you more than who you are.
Who you are is not dictated by this facet of you – who you are is dictated by the light inside of you.
Your light is who you are – your mental illness is not.
I share this for your own sake, and to remind myself too.
If this resonates, leave a comment below x