Mental illness is often romanticised, as well as heavily stigmatised within the media and online. As someone who has suffered with several mental illnesses for a number of years, I know how hard it can be to talk.
The stigma, and this inescapable need to be so fucking perfect is suffocating, and makes discussing your flaws even more debilitating.
I have anxiety, depression and OCD, but until yesterday, I hadn’t told anyone the full story.
I would say I have 3 really close friends that I trust. They all knew different degrees of what I was going through, but I was yet to disclose everything. Yesterday, I was reunited with one of my best friends after about 3 months apart, and I knew I was ready to tell her everything. We went for a walk, and I got it all out, and we were both a bit emotional, but I can genuinely say it was one of the most freeing experiences of my entire life. I don’t like to think of it as “sharing the burden”, because that makes me feel guilty, but knowing someone was aware of everything I was going through was really empowering.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, give yourself some time. For me, I needed to understand and somewhat accept what was happening in my brain, because talking about it makes it real, and that’s really scary. Even after at least 8 years of friendship, my friend still surprised me with how loving and supportive she was. But ultimately, keeping everything to yourself is suffocating, and it’s okay to ask for help. I guess I’ve learnt that the hard way.