1.25.2011

My demons

The fabulous blogger The Bloggess' post yesterday has been haunting me for the better part of 24 hours. I read it, and my first thought:

Thank you, Jenny.

She writes about "coming out" with mental illness, and how dangerous it is to keep quiet about. And it's true — it can be hell, battling mental illness(es). But it's so much worse when you're battling alone.

I've been going to group therapy for eating disorders for over nine months, and I can't tell you the relief I feel when I sit there surrounded by other girls who know what it's like. To know they understand every little bit of what I'm feeling. It takes a bit of weight off me just knowing I'm not alone.

Likewise, I have a friend who also battles depression and anxiety. When either of us is going through a particularly hard spell, the other steps up. There are no words needed: just knowing the other is there, and that the other knows, is such a comfort.

I'm not going to lie...it's still hard for me to talk about my eating disorders, depression, and anxiety publicly. There is a very real part of me who is ashamed of them, and embarrassed by them. And the fact that I have to take medication to help me cope? My god, I'm embarrassed by that too.

I tell you, I'm embarrassed to have mental illnesses. I honestly do feel like a freak sometimes when I talk about them.

But then I have to remind myself that though the eating disorders, depression, and anxiety are a part of my life, they are not my WHOLE life. And I will fight constantly to keep them from taking over. The real me is here, and the real me is a funny, kind, fiercely loyal girl.

Having mental illnesses is nothing to be ashamed about. It's no more my fault than if I were to have a physical disease. And, like a physical disease, mental illnesses need treatment. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So hi. I'm Nanny, and I have:

my demons

And that's okay.

14 comments:

mommymichael said...

If only we were ALL so honest with ourselves. =)

Angie said...

Thanks for reminding me of what I have been trying to tell myself for years. <3

Sugar Photography said...

Love you

Anonymous said...

you're amazing.

-your sis

Erin said...

I like that you used the public transport as a backdrop to the photo that tells all :) Fitting, really.

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Stephanie said...

As I read your post I sit with my psychosoc book on my lap reading a chapter on attitudinal environment and stigma of mental illness. Kudos to you for sharing your stories...I have to lead group therapy this semster. If only I lived closer to dream school city! :)

The Nanny said...

Thank you all. xoxo.

Jenny said...

love this post and you darling. It takes real courage to say all this publicly. You're truly an incredible woman and I'm proud to know you.

Anonymous said...

me, too!

Mommy and Nanny said...

I love this! I think we are only stronger in admitting your faults, thank you! It has made me realize I need not be ashamed I am not perfect. Hopefully, I can admit my faults.

Monica H said...

I love that you said thare are part of you but they are not your whole life. So true. You are bigger than them.

Squashys Girl said...

doesn't it feel wonderful to be able to talk about mental illness openly. I'm bipolar and I made the decision long ago that I would not be ashamed of it and would speak openly and honestly about it in hopes of helping others who were going thru similar things. thanks so much for your post!

Sarabelle said...

Wow, I loved this posting! My whole blog is actually based on me trying to get over my depression and eating disorders. It's good to know that there are other people like me out there. It;s been so hard lately, but this brings me hope