I am very inspired by Hunting Happiness who did this post on the Bipolar Writer Blog. She called it “A Letter to Myself on the Days I Feel I’m About to Drown.” I love that title and her idea to write up a letter to encourage herself when she’s struggling with her mental illness.
So I want to do the same! Sometimes the most encouraging person is yourself when you are feeling depressed or anxious.
Are you alright? Whatever horrible thoughts you’ve been ruminating on, press pause for a moment to read what I have to tell you.
Remember what your therapist said? Not every thought your brain generates is a fact. Your brain loves to lie and trick you, it loves to kick you when you’re down. It sucks to say but you can’t always believe your mind.
Because I am you, I know the dark thoughts that are buzzing around in your mind. Thoughts you’ve been battling since you were little. Just because you’ve been hearing them forever doesn’t mean that they hold any amount of truth.
Worthless? You’re absolutely worthy of existing. Everybody hates you? Also not true. Think about how much your mom, brother, dad, boyfriend and grandmother care about you. They would be deeply upset if you weren’t here.
Your writing has impacted so many people, even those who you don’t know! You have been able to positively impact other people’s lives with your words. Nobody else could have written those stories like you.
Your experiences matter. Your perspective is needed.
I love you and so do all of the important people in your life!
P.S. Pet your cats, watch “My Roommate is a Cat” and stretch.
Whenever I make a mistake and I know that I’ve hurt somebody’s feelings, I immediately fall into depression. It catches me as if I was falling from the top of a building. It’s always there to catch me and wrap me in a blanket then whispers horrible thoughts in my ear.
When I’m in this state there are some things I automatically do as a way to protect myself. It’s a lot of shit that I’ve been doing since I was little.
- Hide: This is my natural instinct when something is wrong. Ideally, I hide in my room with my door closed and cover my head in blankets. My goal is to usually escape from whatever is going on either in reality or in my mind. I hide away until I can face the shit happening.
- Stop eating: When I’m very depressed or anxious I feel like I can’t eat. It feels like my stomach shrinks to the size of a grape, that if I eat anything more than a cracker I will feel sick. When I was really struggling two years ago, I would go sometimes for an entire day without eating anything.
- Sleep: If worries are buzzing in my brain, I can’t focus on nearly anything. Today I have a lot of those so I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on my work. But when I’m hiding at home, I often just go to sleep. I sleep to get away from the anxious thoughts, sometimes it is the only time I can find true relief.
- Cry: I am a cry baby. I cry about everything which I find annoying to myself. When I’m really overwhelmed or sad, I just sit down and cry. It can be silent tears or ugly sobbing depending on what is going on.
I know a few of these are not healthy coping mechanisms but I have (for now) kicked my most unhealthy one which is self-harm. At many moments in my life those urges to cut were so frequent that I was hurting myself almost on a daily basis. I am proud of myself that I have been able to work things out in a different way and curb those urges.
If you are struggling right now with your mental illness, I hope that you can make it through. And if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, I have a few posts about potential ways to silence those thoughts.
Stay strong everyone!