Soldiers fight in an army, a war even. I’m a soldier. Not your regular military soldier though, a mental health soldier. Or at least that’s how I like to think of it anyway.
People like me with mental health issues, we fight our never ending thoughts, we battle against our minds that are spinning out of control, every single minute, of every single day and night too. We are fighting a war inside our minds that nobody can see. While I can’t speak for everyone, there are times when even if I’m still amongst that peer group or if I’m present at a family reunion, I’ll go quiet, not because I’m shy or “socially awkward” but because the war inside my mind is taking over, because I’m having to use every single ounce of my strength to fight this mental battle.
My mental health issues are a secret to pretty much everyone.
My family, oblivious.
My friends, not a clue.
It is my secret, one of many, all locked in a safe inside me, the pass-code is lost, a long with the key. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll get a lock smith to break the locks allowing me to reveal the many secrets inside me but right now, they are safe. I’m not sure I could deal with the world, or rather, my world knowing my deepest darkest secrets. It’s about control.
I need to know I have that control and right now and for the past few years or so, with regards to others knowing about my mental health, I have always had control.
You guys reading this are probably thinking I’m some kind of head case, control freak, which FYI, I can guarantee I’m not, but having control nevertheless is important to me. Why? I have no control over my mental health. I cant control the war inside my mind, I can’t control the way it spins like a hurricane quickly raging out of control. I can try to control the storm of anxiety leading up to the hurricane but at the end of the day, we have no control over the weather.
This post is focusing on anxiety, or rather my anxiety.
I have constant anxiety about everything, every single little thing causes me anxiety. People, places, stairs! Oh my gosh, stairs. It’s crazy, mad, ridiculous but out of my control.
It’s like there’s this huge messy ball inside me, it bounces about all over the place all the time, you’re always aware of it and sometimes the ball gets hyper, it bounces about a hundred times faster, with speed now, power. It bounces into places it doesn’t usually get into, i.e. under my rib cage. This ball is far too big to be inside my rib cage but now its stuck, it cant get out, it’s extremely agitated and that’s when the storm (the non hyper ball) turns into a hurricane (the hyper ball). This hurricane is locked inside my chest, trying to break my rib cage from the inside, out, pressing so hard on my stomach, it’s making me feel sick, it’s turning my lungs into pancakes, unable to breathe, my heart beginning to panic and race like Lewis Hamilton in a formula one race (apologies! I’m no expert in cars or racing), my vision turns into a TV screen with no signal, blurring more and more, all I can hear is ringing in my ears, I can’t focus on the sound or what/if anyone is talking to me, by this point I’m shaking more than jelly on a plate, all I can focus on is the fact I feel like I’m going to die.
Then the white light people talk about appears and everything I was feeling suddenly lessens, my vision is returning to normal, the ringing turns into lots of sound and I can hear what you’re saying to me now, the nausea fades, my lungs are still playing catch up but I’m back in the world of living. The giant, agitated ball that was stuck inside my chest has freed itself, its not so aggressive now. The hurricane has returned to a storm, bouncing about calmly once more.
This is the day in a life of an anxious person.
I don’t know about you, but I think this makes anyone else experiencing similar not only deserving of the soldier title but a bloody good one too!
So here’s to the soldiers fighting a mental illness.
Join my army, we need to END mental health discrimination!
I will return every follow I receive.
Keep soldiering on!