Not Everyone Understands

It’s frustrating when someone who you trust does not understand what it’s like living with a mental illness. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has family members and friends who couldn’t/wouldn’t comprehend what it is like to live each day mentally exhausted.

During my lowest point I confided in one of my best friends from college who I thought I could tell anything to. I thought she would be able to encourage and help me through this difficult time.

I was totally wrong.

I told her about how I started self harming again, how severely depressed and anxious I was and that I was considering taking my own life. I bore my soul to her but I did not get the love I was hoping for. She did not listen when I spoke. She continued to tell me about her short term experience with anxiety four years ago instead of shutting up and being there for me.

Time and time again she would not attempt to listen or understand where I was coming from. So I stopped telling her about my mental health struggles and she never asked about them again.

I told another friend about how severe my depression was and he asked, “Can’t you just go in the woods and meditate?” Uh, no.

I confided in my brother because I needed to tell someone who could take me to an in-patient mental health facility if my suicidal thoughts took me to that point. He could not understand why I would want to kill myself. “Megan, you have so much going for you. There are people out there who are really struggling.” He could not understand.

My mom had seen me so horribly depressed and she did not grasp how I could lay in bed for hours every single day. “Are you depressed every day?” she asked me. “Yes,” I said. She was amazed that that was possible.

It can be so freaking frustrating to have people around you who love you but don’t understand your situation. They may not want to help because they’re afraid of messing up or they don’t know how to help. For me, all of the negative interactions made me feel more alone. It made me feel like “the other,” that I was a freak.

If you feel like a freak and alone, you’re not a freak and you’re not alone. There’s an entire mental health community online that understands and has been in your shoes. Across the globe there are countless individuals who get it. Don’t give up because you feel misunderstood. We are all here cheering you on.

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