Tired of Fighting the Pain of Mental Illness?

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Maybe it’s hard for your friends and family to sympathize with your mental illness because they don’t know very much about it or because of the stigma.It’s easy to stop talking to people who just don’t understand. Then you are alone without support, except for professionals like a doctor, social worker and therapist if you are lucky enough to have insurance or government benefits that cover those. Still, it’s easy to become isolated, which makes it hard to stay grounded. Is reality too hard to deal with? Are you overwhelmed and want to give up trying to fight your problems? Do you feel that you have no control over your problems and that your mental illness controls you? Some people run from their feelings and reality by using drugs and alcohol, planning suicide or other self-destructive behaviors. It’s easy to stop caring about yourself and stop trying to get better. Does it seem easier to stop paying rent and bills, stop going to your doctors appointments, and stop taking your medication? Is it all too hard? Please stop for a moment and think about this: you are a human being, You are valuable. You can make a difference in the world by fighting your illness, being a role model for others who are fighting their mental illness, and showing your family and friends (even if they don’t really understand what you’re going through) that you care about them enough to keep fighting. Let go of fighting reality. Allow yourself to feel the pain, but then move on and fight for your life. Don’t wait for things to get better–ACT. Figure out WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL, and do those things. You CAN control how you react to life events. You CAN decide to take care of your physical body by eating healthy food, exercising, and taking care of your medical problems. You CAN go to a psychiatrist and therapist and advocate for yourself. Tell them that your medication isn’t working and ask them to help you with your problems. You can research housing resources and other resources available in your community. It may be uncomfortable, time-consuming and hard. But it’s NECESSARY. Every day, every hour, every minute, make the decision to keep fighting for your life. Perhaps you can go to a support group, like Schizophrenics Anonymous or NAMI to talk to peers who really understand what you’re going through. Perhaps you can go to a day program with activities or classes that help you stay connected with other people so that you’re not alone all day. If you are suicidal, call a suicide hotline such as 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). You are not alone! Please don’t give up. Get help and keep fighting. Things will get better, even if you can’t imagine it right now.

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