I Never Thought It Would Be This Way

I never thought that my smile would hide the demons inside of me.

That I would fight daily to keep myself from falling apart.

That I could be so tired.

That my body could hurt without injury.

That my darkest days would be when I was raising a daughter. I remember when I finally told her what was wrong. She was so understanding at such a young age. Who knew she would later experience similar demons.

That what society makes out to be “living your best life” isn’t really living your best life. Having it all can be just as overwhelming as not having enough.

That getting help was what pulled me out of the rabbit hole. I realized that I could no longer get through this alone.

That drugs (not running, or exercise, or “changing my mindset”) was what helped my brain. Does running help? Yes, it helps me cope, but it doesn’t cure my mental illness.

That people I thought were there for me, were not. That I had to make peace with that. I finally knew who my people were. They stuck with me through my depression.

That I would accept myself as I am, no matter what. That has taken me YEARS. I never thought I was good enough. Now I know different. Do I still have self doubt? Fuck, yes. But I know who I am, and what I am truly capable of. I try and remind myself of that on my bad days.

That I would come to terms with daughter being diagnosed with a mental illness. I blamed myself, as I have said before. I was pretty sure I gave it to her. Like through her breathing my mentally ill air,or something. Once I battled that demon, I was able to be there for her.

That I would see my mental illness as a pro, and not a con. I see things differently than other people. I can give a different perspective. I can offer insight.

Anyone can have mental illness: youth, women, men. It doesn’t discriminate.

Reminding myself daily that I didn’t choose this is what gets me through. Other days it’s also something small, like a song or a line from a book.

I just have to remember to keep looking forward, because looking back is not good for me.

That is when I falter. That is when I need my strength, because I never thought it would be this way.

I never thought I would be mentally ill.