Learning To Cope With Mental Illness
Please quit telling mentally ill people that we have to be more responsible for our illness and triggers. No one enjoys having any sickness. And while I agree that people must take care of themselves, merely learning and understanding a sickness will never change the fact that life happens.
I, for one, hate having a mental illness. Some days I feel so useless. I feel like talking to people doesn’t help. I feel like I can’t speak to my family or my friends about the way I think. The thought of talking about my illness makes me feel like I’m a burden to the people I love.
Earlier this year, I was told that I have PTSD. I hadn’t told my mom until one day I was triggered by a conversation I had with another woman who is also a survivor of rape. I had a panic attack. I woke my mom up out of bed in hopes of seeking medical care.
All I remember after that was my mom sitting with me and reading my article about being a survivor and letting me cry. I remember my dogs trying to comfort me by trying to lick my face and cuddle in my lap. I never told my mom because I didn’t want to hurt her. I spent so much time thinking my disability and my mental illness would be a burden to other people. But all I want to do is rise and get better. Ultimately, I hope to provide hope to other people.
Please quit saying that people who are struggling mentally are responsible for managing the triggers. Just like with any other illness, people need to have time to learn and grow. It’s best to find a way to be better. I have started a support group for survivors of rape, and I’m doing my best to be a voice for victims. I know that I will get triggered in this journey. But this is my journey, and acting like it never happened won’t help. People with mental illness deserve help and compassion. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean sitting quietly.