I own this
Thursday, Day 16th of our writing challenge that, Jenni, hosts: StoryofMyLifetheBlog.Blogspot.com . Our goal, “Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you are working to overcome it.”
Depression. I work on it daily. Take meds. Keep in touch with friends (okay, I admit, sometimes I ‘hide’ from them too, especially if I am feeling overwhelmed). I exercise. And I try, daily, to accept that there are people who are uncomfortable with ‘my lot in life,’ because it carry’s a stigma so caustic, to some, that they cannot, and will not allow themselves to be involved with any part of it.
Allow me to allay some fears for you. Not all of us with a mental illness wish to do harm. Actually, statistically speaking we are some of the ‘safest’ people to be around. It is the hell we live, inside of ourselves, not the one that other’s fear we may wish to create, outside our person.
I am on a mission for the rest of my life. As embarrassed and ashamed as some of my loved ones are, I no longer wish to hide the ugly secret that I have a mental illness. I will not fear that you will hold this over my head, claim me as, ‘unfit’ any longer. There is dignity within this soul of mine. Do not cast a stone toward a glass building, you may find yourself injured by the shards of glass that blast your way: Others may judge you for judging me.
Stigma can stab deeper and hurt longer than anything I’ve ever encountered. Please do yourselves a favor and move forward. My goal is to educate those that live in fear that they will be discovered, the ones that live in shame because of the mark upon their forehead, reflected from within by the wounds written across their heart. The shame of who they are, because they can never again be who they were. It will never happen. To you, I say, “Go forward. Live this new life and do it knowing that you can, and will, survive.”
A person struggling with depression does not want sympathy, pity or an assigned seat at the back of the bus. We’d like respect. I know it is difficult for you to trust us, because far too often we are reminded that we cannot be trusted. Sadly, it is our families that fear us most. They hate their burden.
My greatest fear is not my illness, it is the loss of faith by the ones I love(d). Or perhaps, they too, are simply looking for a way to exit. And to this, I would simply ask:
“Go. Be free.”