I’m Doing Great

Growing up I dealt with anxiety and OCD. My stomach constantly felt like it was going to drop out. I had to scream when doing certain schoolwork, constantly flipped light switches. When this didn’t make me feel better I started crawling, refusing to use my legs as punishment. Most of this went away before I graduated high school. Depression showed up in college and it took my wife several years to figure out what was going on. I was blind to it. By the time she forced me to seek treatment I was giving myself carpet burn on my face, completely freezing up in stores, shaking and crying in corners. The only thing I had was the will to live. When I started treatment I quit my public relations job (which I had just completed my master’s degree for) and started writing. Three years later I’m doing great. I see a therapist when needed and take an antidepressant. I still write and work part-time as an after-school teacher. I share poetry, writing updates and mental health updates on the Depressed House Husband blog:

https://t.co/8kkFjGzMTZ

This account was written and sent into us through Twitter by Arsenio Franklin, who can be found at https://twitter.com/ArsenioFranklin. If you have any stories relating to struggles with mental health you’d like to share, please get in touch with us.

Mental Illness Makes Me No Less of a Person

My name is Christopher. At the age of 12, I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia and Asperger’s. I was told by doctors and teachers everywhere that I need medication in order to function.

“You’re mentally ill. No, you’re not ok. You’ll never be like a normal person. I’m normal.” That’s the worst example, but it felt like that after hearing that.

I proceeded to become obsessed with things, like reading through King James V’s Old Testament, researching information about the actors who played The Joker in all the Batman stuff, that kind of thing. They were all attempts to define my personality, to put my mind in a very shiny box on a shelf.

Eventually, it got to the point of developmental Deja Vu, which everyone gets. I hit my left temple on a desk when I was 14, “Oh, that’s just like when I hit my right temple on a sheetrock fireplace when I was 1 year old! Maybe, I’ll start balancing out now.” I had an inherent desire to live and breathe symmetrically, aka OCD.

I also suffered from rampant paranoia. I’m thinking back to how horrible it was that I suffered, that no good came of the energy. It could’ve been better, but it’s in the past. Time travel theories always made me debunk that, with, “What if someone saw the past, and that’s why they’re making fun of me? That’s not fair. If you know me, be nice.” They never know me.

Why is my English so good? Well, my mother is an English major, and I actually paid attention in class. It’s only the average kids who end up just giving up in school. I had so much determination. Right now? I’ve written a book, and it’s not that bad, but I say it sucks, so I can do much better. Feedback always helps, which is why I talk to people, but also because I like people. I don’t believe in mental illness the way they sold it to me.

I don’t believe I actually was “mentally ill” and “not ok.” I don’t believe Abilify and Geodon did better than what CBD could’ve done, but I don’t care. It’s in the past. I don’t need to be the guy who carried a young Jesus over a river, and I don’t need to have the mind of a serial killer. There are 8,000,000,000 people here, and they’re just humans. I’m a human, just like anyone who can be happy and healthy.

To anybody who desperately needs definition in their life, please don’t define yourself with things that are very obviously evil and/or stupid.

This account was written and sent into us through Twitter by Christopher. If you have any stories relating to struggles with mental health you’d like to share, please get in touch with us.

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