Today, people are encouraged to talk about mental health. Okay, I’ll bite.
Let me start by saying that people who battle mental illness are my heroes. Scratch that. They are bonafide, motherfucking superheroes. You can’t see it, but they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are waging a war that does not end.
For me, it’s fitting, because this evening I’m going to see my psychologist. I’ve been doing Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) for over two years now. It helps people who have experienced trauma to move forward in their lives.
Well, some really shitty stuff happened to me when I was a kid, which has only amplified the strong genetic predisposition toward mental health issues I appear to have been born with. The woe-is-me mentality isn’t really my jam, but sometimes it does kind of feel like the odds are stacked impossibly high against me.
I have struggled since I can remember. I have done terrible things to myself. I have downright wanted to die, and almost got there a couple of times. I’ve battled with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphic disorder, for starters. Sometimes the pain has been so severe that I didn’t think I could go on.
But inevitably, I remember my name. It’s Nadine, and it means Hope. It would be the saddest kind of irony for me to throw in the towel. Somehow, on really bad days, remembering this gives me the power to get up; that, and the love of the people in my life.
Looking back, I can see that things have improved manyfold, and that’s encouraging. It’s amazing, really. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ll get there. I can tell you that reaching out helps. Talking helps. Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to do, but it is always worth doing.
As long as I am breathing, I have hope in my heart–not only for myself, but for anyone who has suffered childhood trauma or is battling mental illness. Remember that it isn’t your fault.
Be brave, and proud of that badass cape you’re wearing, even if no one else can see it. You’re a superhero, so keep going. It does get better. Keep talking.
Thanks for reading.
All the love.