I have done lots of talking about the kind of person I want to be. Who I am striving to be. And yet there are days like the last couple that remind me what a battle everyday it is to be who I want to be and not who I am trying to leave behind.
I have suffered from depression for the better part of 25 years. The more doctors I saw the more mental illness I had growing up. Everything from run of the mill depression and anxiety to borderline personality disorder. Everyone I saw was so quick to tell me what was wrong and so few were willing to listen to me. I took their pills to numb the pain and nothing seemed to help. It is only now I realize why; I wasn’t willing to put in the work and was waiting for a miracle. It wasn’t just the depression that got me to it was the anger.
And the anger is what I want to talk about today….
I don’t know when it happened but I woke up one morning and was angry, this anger never went away is was just beneath the surface waiting to show itself. It wasn’t puberty, or PMS (and I hate that is was ever even compared to that) or that I was having a bad day. I was just angry. It took so little to set me off. I was cold, callous and down right mean at times for no reason. I mean no reason not because it was a bad one but just because I could. It sounds harsh and I was. I used my sarcasm and wit like weapons, my tongue sharp with insults and hurt. No one was safe I was as they say savage. It is actually embarrassing to look back and think about some of the things I did or said. It was exhausting being that angry all the time. I was stopping myself from enjoying anything. I just suffered and so did everyone around me.
I was talking to a friend of mine years ago and she looked at me, and said “Why are you such a bitch? I mean its funny and all but it’s also kinda sad.” I was left staring at her, who did she think she was calling me on my stuff? Who was she? She was someone who was right. It was sad how I carried myself most the time. I pushed people away more than I invited them in. I was so tired all the time. I was depressed and angry, and it made me angry that I was depressed and angry it was a vicious circle I could not get out of. I didn’t like who I had become I just didn’t know how to get rid or deal with the chip on my shoulder so I just carried it and made it a part of me.
If you suffer from a mental illness sometimes it feels like you are a duck. Yup duck… calm on surface but beneath it you are going a mile a minutes, doing everything you can to survive. I was angry to survive. I learned how to cope with my anger and eventually manage it. It never goes away, it is always boiling just below the surface, and sometimes it boils over.
I find this is whats happening lately, boiling over. I can be in the best of moods and then a look, a comment, or nothing at all and I am angry these days. Whether it is stress, unhappiness or just a case of the me’s I find myself battling a little harder. I have learnt the signs, I put myself in time out, listen to my power songs, read messages from an old friend, I write.
I own my depression and anger, it does not own me and I have learnt to control it. I live med free and full of mood swings but I feel most myself this way, it will not work for everyone but of all the things I have tried this is what works for me. Mental illness looks different on everyone that has it and the ways in which they manage it are as unique as the people.