Author Topic: That Black Dog, Mental Illness  (Read 2860 times)

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on: September 11, 2016, 12:52:53 PM
Heavy subject, I know. And I'm not exactly the most impartial voice on the subject. But maybe we can just share understanding and experiences.

I've had depression since I was 13. I turned 29 just a couple of weeks ago. It runs in my family. I only accepted my illness a couple of years ago. In and off during that time I've wanted to hurt myself or hurt others. This often leads to crushing guilt, which leads to wanting to hurt myself, others and so the cycle goes on.

I have more good days than bad. Medication and counselling helps. I find that looking for jokes in all the wrong places has been wonderful. I've developed a caustic sense of humour. I've learned to accept that I have friends and that they love aspects of me I thought ugly, such as my rather blunt honesty. I'm ok knowing that not everybody will understand and that includes my family. Most importantly, I've learned to be assertive and that sticking up for myself and for what I believe is fine and not always my illness trying to hurt someone. That distinction had been the hardest as it's what's needed to break the cycle of self-hatred.

I'm not perfect. But that doesn't mean I'm a waste of space on this planet. And I don't accept this current popular trend of referring to yourself as 'trash' as if self-loathing is cool. It's not. It's really not. I'm also writing again and it feels wonderful.

Depression is a thing I have and it's damaged my life. But I'm working to make it better.

Fear is the little death that brings total oblivion


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Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 03:11:06 PM
This is a great attitude. Accepting oneself, flaws and all, can be really tough, especially for those of us who feel like we don't fit in. I'm glad to hear you have a core group of supportive friends; that's something very valuable.


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Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 08:42:56 PM
@IMustNotFear: You're doing great! :D I didn't figure those things out until I was 36 (I'm 44).  So you're way ahead of me.

For the first time in my life, I can see a future for myself.  When I was younger, up into my 30s, I could never see myself living past a certain age so I never planned for the future because I was like, "Why bother?"  Even now I have a hard time imagining myself getting old.  (I can't see myself living past the age I am right now.)  But, if I just think about making plans--graduating, changing jobs, finding a house--and not actually doing the math on my age when I think about where I'll be three years from now, I can build my future.  It's completely irrational, I know.  But then, that's one of the hallmarks of mental illness.