mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Who cares when you can’t?

on October 15, 2013

I think this is a common thing amongst those of us who suffer from a mental illness. The feeling that we are misunderstood, no one quite gets us, we are alone in our pain. We end up isolating ourselves and shutting in our feelings because we have learned through past experience or have just generally assumed that sharing these feelings will just alienate us from friends and family.

So here we end up, dealing with this mental illness while feeling alone and isolated, the worst possible position to be in while dealing with a mental illness. But then a lot of us have had an experience where we have shared a little or a lot with someone, where someone has said ‘you can tell me anything’ and you tell them anything and inadvertently they shy away or find themselves overwhelmed with what you’ve told them. The fact of it is, you CAN share with people and it’s the healthiest thing for you to do, but you have to choose wisely. I don’t mean to segregate people into us and them, but people who don’t suffer from any form of mental illness can be as understanding as understanding can be, but they can never truly empathize because it’s impossible to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes unless you’ve worn the same pair.

If you have a friend who is bipolar or suffers depression or agoraphobia or schizophrenia or any manner of illness, it may not be the same as yours but there is commonly overlapping symptoms, and you will probably find greater understanding from such a person than those who are not afflicted by any mental disorder. If you don’t have any such friends then find a psychologist, write a blog, find a forum or any number of things, there are people out there just like you and connecting with each other can only help. They say misery loves company, which i find untrue, when i’m miserable i lock myself away from the world, but in misery understands misery, so there may be some truth to it.

When we give up on sharing or letting our feelings out, it breeds more discontent, we are unable to heal and things just stagnate or get worse and worse until things spiral out of control. It’s scary, and i spent years locking my feelings away to myself and isolating myself from others like me, cancelling on friends all the time and having them get so annoyed with me that a lot of them just gave up inviting me places in the first place, i never told anyone why, i just kept it all inside and it nearly ate me alive from the inside out.

So take a leap of faith, if you have a story, share it, if you have questions or just want to vent, do it. Just being heard can bring such a sense of peace, it’s amazing and liberating and I’ve finally started the healing journey, as healing isn’t an overnight thing, it’s a journey and happens in inches and feet and you fall backwards sometimes but if you keep yourself open to others and keep trying to move forward, you will eventually get where you need to be.

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4 responses to “Who cares when you can’t?

  1. Rose says:

    I appreciated your comment on my post. And this post is spot-on! It is so hard to put ourselves out there, only to find people who stigmatize us. I think you have a real point about doing it anyway, letting ourselves be heard. Great post!

    • mckarlie says:

      Thanks a lot, I can’t convey enough how much sharing and writing about things has helped me. I’ve also had my hiccups along the way but i’m learning as i go 🙂

  2. wonderful post. Thank You 🙂

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