I get very frustrated at myself for having a mental illness, and I know I shouldn't. But it is not like having a physical illness, it Isn't as though I'm in a wheelchair, or missing a limb. It Isn't as though I've been given a short amount of time to live or I have to make massive changes to my life and home just to get about.
The only thing I have to show is my scars on my body and a note on my GP's folder saying 'severe depressive, severe allergy to latex'.
If I walked up to people I know, say in college, and told them I've just been diagnosed with cancer there would be shock around the room, they'd be upset, feel sorry for me, but as I've told people about being diagnosed with a mental illness, their reaction is so different. I've been stared at like I'm contagious, I've lost friends, I've been told to 'get over it' that it isn't a 'big thing' and to 'deal with it'...
If I walked up to someone who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and they were completely shattered by it and I casually said 'get over it' there would be an uproar! I would be slandered and hated, yet people are freely aloud to say that to me, and I never saw any of them get in trouble about it.
Obviously not everyone has reacted like that as I have some brilliant friends who have completely understood and know my background. But even so, I've had more people stare at my scars and look at me like I'm crazy than I've had people hug me and tell me that things will get better, and it makes my blood boil.
I think, the people who just can not understand that having a mental illness is a very real diagnosis and affects a persons daily life, they forget we are human, forget we have feelings and that we are going through such a difficult time, and this difficult time, it seems never ending.
When people use names like 'psycho' 'emo' 'crazy' it hurts just that little bit more, and they are horrible labels.
I am not 'psycho'. I get easily frustrated as I struggle to cope with emotions.
I am not 'emo'. I self-harmed to stop me from hurting other people.
I am not 'crazy'. I am a professionally diagnosed severe depressive who has been through nine years of hell.
I am not 'mental illness'. I have a mental illness and my name is Lucy. I have feelings. I am not a label.
The stigma around mental health makes like difficult for people who suffer from it. We are made to feel guilty, as though our illness isn't real. But it is. And the stigma needs to stop.
When I promote my blog, I do it to help people, people who feel alone, who are constantly surrounded by people labelling them, people who still think there is no hope. But there is.
There will always be hope, and there will always be help.
And you will always be loved.
Lots of love,