Our Lives Matter
Life is hard.
We wake up one day in a world that we didn't ask to be in. Just because we're alive we're expected to face all the difficult obstacles life throws at us. We're supposed to just be okay with all the heaviness and heartbreak that comes along with being alive because that's "just life".
There are millions of people who sit behind their screens scanning through images of people who are prettier, wealthier, and a hell-of-a-lot happier than you. I'm one of those people who wakes up some days and asks myself "Why am I alive?" I have some days where I am terribly sad and wonder if anyone would miss me. I would be free of family drama, money stress, and all the internal feelings I keep to myself every day.
I've tried counseling and even went religiously every week for over a year, I tried medication and other typical avenues to cope with the emotions that are always right under the surface. For years, I was diagnosed as having depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, I found out last year that I had been misdiagnosed and I struggle with something far more intensive, specifically bipolar disorder and panic disorder.
Living with bipolar disorder sometimes doesn't feel that bad because it's an unnoticed condition that even the people closest to you don't understand. It's the quiet but extreme shifts in your mood and constant frustration that you're not being understood. It's the internal voice in your head that tells you you're alone and that you should give up today because life won't get easier.
Panic disorder is when your chest physically tightens due to your anxiety. You get panic attacks where you can't talk or breathe. It's the constant worrying that you're failing or that your life is falling apart and you're incapable of fixing it. These are the battles I face every day in my head and in my body. It's the internal struggle that nobody sees with my Instagram updates or even if I walked by them that day.
There are some days where the only thing that is keeping me alive is knowing that my daughter needs me. Seeing her beautiful, smiling, innocent face gives me all the courage and peace I need that day. Even after years of counseling, therapy, and medication, I am no closer to being cured of the ailments that hinder me from truly being happy inside.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of activities that I'll do that will help me escape from my often burdening thoughts like exercising, painting, and spending time with my friends. My friends have always been my backbone for me who was plagued with unhealthy familial relationships. I am grateful for the beautiful women that God placed in my life to support me on my bad days. There are many times where I won't reach out to them because I don't want them to be as unhappy as I can be, even though they'd be there for me in a heartbeat. It's tough placing your burdens on anyone, much less, a happy person.
There is someone out there who would be devastated if you were gone or harmed yourself. I know that by knowing this, it gives me the determination to get up and be a better person every day because my daughter would be severely impacted by my absence, not to mention my partner for the past 7+ years. I'm writing this post to tell you that if you've ever struggled with depression, anxiety, bipolar, or feeling alone, that your life matters.
Combat your internal feelings with getting in touch with the things that make you happy like spending time with friends, treating yourself to something nice, resting often, eating healthier, staying active, and anything else that has been known to lift your spirits.
Mental health does not just affect the average person in society. You can hear about how rappers like Logic and Lil Uzi Vert share about their mental health challenges through their music here. Together, if we continue to talk about mental illnesses, we can erase the stigma attached to sharing our experiences, and maybe even save someone's life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental illnesses:
Please call 1-800-273-8255