I just saw a commercial saying 1 in 6 adults has a mental illness. I am proud to be one of them - proud to have gotten treatment with therapy and medication and proud to continue to go to therapy and take my medications.
I recently had an incident where I had what might be best described as a "flare up" of my PTSD, and it caused an argument between me and one of my best friends. And I don't know how to help her understand my PTSD. I don't know how to help any of my friends understand. Some of my friends and some of my family are so unbelievably supportive, and some people just say the strangest, worst things imaginable. My mother says many of those horrible things - but that's a different story.
My PTSD is here to stay. I have triggers - things that make me nervous, uncomfortable and anxious. Some things cause a bigger "flare up" than others. I cringe every time I see a particular make and model of car. There is one sport that I would love to be a fan of, but it makes me uncomfortable. And there are a few people I just can't be around. It's a long story why I can't be around a couple people and it's a longs story why I was in a fight with my friend.
The point is, I want my blog to help people understand mental illness. I want people to understand that I am like everyone else, I just have a few problems with my brain - just like I have problems with my lungs. I'm still a person with feelings, wants, and needs.
Mental illness is harder for me to deal with than my cystic fibrosis. It's entrapment in your own mind. It's illogical and you can't escape it. Sometimes I know I am absolutely crazy and acting unreasonably, but I can't help it. I am doing my best to calm down, or make the flashbacks stop. I am trying to survive until things get better.
Mainly, I want compassion from others and some level of understanding. You may never know what it's like to experience a mental illness personally, but try and understand what your friend/family member/coworker/neighbor/that stranger you judge is going through.
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