At 14 years old, a dark storm of depression uprooted my life. Blew out my flames with one breath. Not just constant tears. A majority of the time I was filled with complete rage. Reckless. Uncontrollable. No desire to live. No fear. No hope. I was told I was a “threat” to myself and others. I remember the day my parents picked me up from school with my bags packed. Doors locked. I asked where we were going. They didn’t know how to answer. They just said “I’m sorry”. I spent the next couple months in an inpatient mental facility for adolescents. I remember all their policies to “protect” me. Robbed. My sketching pencils. Little did they know drawing and writing was my true therapy. Rooms with padded walls. I remember thinking, “Where the actual fuck did they just throw me into?” The stigma was, still is, REAL. Was I that “unhinged”. I was diagnosed with bipolar depression, misdiagnosed if you ask me. Prescribed seroquel. HATED seroquel. Hated being sedated. Hated being unable to think. Hated repressing my true emotions. I don’t think anyone knew what to do with me. So many vivid memories yet such complete blurs. Trauma does that to you. Blackouts. Blockouts. Triggers. Mental health is not something to take lightly. It effects how we think, feel, act. How we relate to people and function in society. For me, how I handle severe pain. My mind shuts down. Cold and numb. Autopilot. Like a robot repeating a set programming. People cope with mental health issues in so many different ways. I don’t have answers nor the cure but there are so many things I wish I would of heard more of living in that dark space: You are not weak-minded. You are not a burden. You are not just overly sensitive. You are not too much to handle. You are not bringing everyone else down. You are not alone. You will not be dismissed. You do not have to carry this. I'm so grateful I don’t live in my trauma anymore. A place where I can breathe. I hope we can all be mindful and empathetic to people who are suffering from mental illness. Don’t get in the way of their healing. Encourage them to know this does not define them.
-written by Jaclyn | @shesjustjaclyn