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Facing mental illness, but not mentally weak

Intelligencer Journal - 3/16/2020

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Most would check their phone, start a shower or make breakfast. But what if you can’t?

Your legs and arms work just fine, but something is keeping you from moving. You just lie there, quietly. All you want to do is stay in bed, not caring about what you have to do that day or responsibilities you must take care of. Your brain is going 100 miles an hour, and all you want to do is sleep. Getting ready for school seems like a crippling task, and you feel like breaking down. At this point, life is an everyday burden, and you just want it all to stop.

But you can’t stop.

We continue every day with the hope that the next day gets better, not knowing that we are becoming shells of the person we really are. Sometimes others see it. They can help you see the beauty in ordinary things and to learn to love every sunrise and sunset.

Then there are the ones who do not understand. They make comments like, “Why are you so sad? You have everything you could ask for. You shouldn’t be so depressed over nothing.” While this is partially correct, it is still so far from the truth.

When you have mental illness, you start devaluing the things around you. All you want is to feel good about yourself, yet it seems almost impossible. It is hard to find happiness in what you love when your head keeps telling you that it doesn’t matter. Once you have that mindset, it’s tough to get rid of it.

The most important thing for those suffering from a mental illness to know is that you are not alone. As a matter of fact, you are never alone. Millions of people around the world experience the same feelings you do. Everyone is put into different scenarios, but that does not mean we cannot help each other out.

For those who are mentally healthy, you should always keep an eye on your friends. Ask them how they are feeling and be willing to listen to them when they need to talk. Sometimes, all someone needs is to have a friend who is there for them and can hold their hand through tough times.

As much as you may feel that you do not matter, it is not true. There are people out there who love you and want nothing but the best for you. They want you to succeed, so if you cannot do it for yourself, do it for them.

Depression and other mental illnesses can leave people completely unmotivated. We may put a fake smile on our face and go about our day like any other, but deep down we’re suffering. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or any other illnesses, then it is also your responsibility to seek help, no matter how hard it may seem. You feel like a burden to your friends and family, but not seeking out help can lead to worse outcomes for everyone.

Every day is a challenge. You must take it day by day, slowly learning how to not just “deal” with the pain, but to find a solution. Talk to your parents or anyone you can trust. Start the day by getting up on time, making your bed and getting ready for the day ahead. It is a step-by-step process and you will want to stop many times on the road to recovery, but no one said it would be easy.

Fight your battle and keep your head up. Better days are ahead — you just have to be here to see them.

Alex Bochenko is a senior journalism student at Warwick High School.

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Crédito: ALEX BOCHENKO | Warwick High School


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