Living with mental illness is like living with a wall in your head. In my mind there’s a wall that’s held me back for so long, for too long to be honest. I started off with a few bricks. Little things building up over time; unkind words spoken to me, shame and humiliation, fears and worries all bottled up. These bricks have piled up throughout my life and built this wall. The wall got bigger and bigger, until I couldn’t see over it any more. The wall held me back from who I was as a person. It made me cold and unforgiving. It kept me from my passions and withdrew me from my life. The wall forced me to take a backseat in my life; I was completely out of control as these illnesses took over. They kicked me out of my own life and I became a robot, barely human and simply existing. I didn’t laugh or smile any more. I couldn’t. I was too far gone, stuck behind the wall in my head.
The wall seemed impossible. I thought my life could never change, that I would be stuck this way forever, unable to live and slowly dying. Luckily someone intervened. My mother. She could see right through my facade, she guessed what was going on and got me the help I so desperately needed. Sure the treatment helped but it didn’t get rid of the wall. It didn’t suddenly solve all of my problems, but it gave me tools. I could chip away at the wall in my head. I learned how to deal with all of my impossible emotions in healthier ways than self sabotage; I learned how to try and ground myself when anxiety takes over; I learned how to say no to the voices that had always controlled me. Slowly the wall started to get a bit smaller, I could start to see over the top. Little parts of me started coming back. A small smile could form on my face again. I started opening up a little to people. I picked up a few of my hobbies again. I felt as if I was waking up again. I was beginning to live again.
I am still working on my wall. I am still working through all of the bricks that built it up in the first place. I am navigating all of my messes. The wall feels more possible now. I can see over it. I can sometimes climb over it and live my life more. Sure it still trips me up sometimes. I have days where the bricks pile up a bit higher, but I also have days where I am free from my wall. I am free to do far more than I ever could before. Now that I have been dismantling my wall I am able to help other people to do the same.
Your wall is not impossible. You can break free and start living again. You just have to take the first few steps. You have to start chipping away at the bricks until your wall starts to break.