Hi I’m Emily. I’m 23 years old and I have a mental illness.
This is me. I might look like an average recent college-grad, but underneath the smile, the makeup, the heels and the dress, I’m suffering from a severe anxiety disorder. Here’s what life is like for me every day: From the moment I wake up in the morning until the end of the day when I lie my head upon my pillow, my stupid head feels like it’s wrapped in cotton. Some people call it depersonalization, dissociation, or severe anxiety. Whatever you want to call it, it fucking sucks. I do get some breaks throughout the day, but so far in my progress, in the past 3 years, I haven’t had a day without it.
I’m not here to complain or ask for help or make anyone feel sorry for me. I want to show the world of the internet that maybe we have something in common, or maybe you know someone like me. Someone who still isn’t sure how she was able to graduate from college, let alone survive, with this nagging inner dialogue and symptoms including trouble concentrating/focusing, forgetfulness, fatigue, overwhelm, and in my case, a disturbing feeling that I’m not fully present. Someone who wants so badly to feel normal again and has tried a range of treatments including two different CBT programs, talk therapy, medication, support groups, EMDR, and more. 3 years I have been in this state. Since that first year I have improved a lot, but the fact that this is still bothering me on a daily basis, currently preventing me from getting a job and attending many social events, making me have to schedule my day and take preventive care of myself in a way that not thinking about these things is something many people take for granted… It just makes me feel pretty hopeless sometimes.
But I am planning on spending the next year (or however long it takes) to get to a point where I feel back to my old self again. I know she’s in there, underneath the pain and suffering, and I know she wants to be a full participant in life in a way she has never before known. Now that I’ve graduated from college, the real learning can begin.
I’m going to be writing about a wide range of topics, including trauma, grief and loss, addictions, dysfunctional families, our dysfunctional society, and I will also be updating my progress, including what I do every day on my road to recovery. I’m doing this because many of these topics are super taboo which is almost funny because nearly EVERYONE experiences them or knows someone who is affected by them. I want to be a mental health advocate and reduce the stigma of mental illness, and also I want to do this for my own personal therapeutic benefit. I want to heal, plain and simple, and hopefully along the way I can share some helpful information with you. I think that was a pretty good first post so I’m going to stop now. Ciao lovelies.