How can it get better?

The thing about living with mental illness is that when you feel okay again, you cannot understand how things ever looked so bleak. It’s like looking at this world of colour and forgetting that just a few days ago you only saw it in monochrome.

When things are bad;ย when you cannot wake up; when you cannot even look at a reflection of yourself without feeling hopeless, you cannot imagine how things could possibly improve.

How can things get better?

I’m waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks.

How can things get better?

I cannot get out of bed or find the energy to engage in my favourite hobby.

How can things get better?

Every time my phone goes off I cringe because if I speak to someone now they will know something is wrong and I won’t be able to breathe.

How can things get better?
And yet, they do. For the most part. The day doesn’t seem so overwhelming at first and suddenly things are great. Holding a conversation doesn’t feel like holding a cement block. You can feel the laughter inside you again. You look forward to meals instead of avoiding them. Best of all, you’re productive, you feel like you’reย contributing to something. You don’t feel like a spectator in your own life for once.
That is why mental illness is so debilitating. It steals your resolve. It snatches away your internal resources. It slams up glass walls around you. You can watch how things fall apart without having enough strength to break through the glass. You have no control. You just get to watch yourself sleep away the days, ignore your loved ones and lose interest in the things that make you who you are.

How do you explain to those around you that things feel so bad when all the words you ever knew suddenly slip from your grasp? You cannot form sentences and your mind feels jumbled. How do you explain to yourself that it’s just a bad couple of days? How do you forgive yourself for being inconsistent and slipping away?

I’m still trying. Today the world is in colour, this morning the colours started to shine through the black and white. I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know when the colours will disappear again. When they do, I just have to tell myself it will be okay. Somewhere, somehow a light will come on and the colour will return.


P.s I am always here.


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