Wednesday, 11 May 2016

It’s Always Okay, by Meghan Shultz

Trigger Warning: suicide and self-harm

When I was just a little kid I could see them . . . and hear them. I was so confused. They would stand by my bed at night time, watching me, talking to me. It was terrifying. I surrounded myself with stuffed animals to keep myself safe from them. I was so scared of them I wouldn’t even get up to pee, so I wet my bed instead.

Sometimes they found me during the day too, that was less scary. I would talk to them then. They told me that they were dead. I saw these people on and off for a very long time. For the longest time I didn’t tell anybody about it. I was confused about why only I could see them and not anyone else. So I said nothing. I see less of them now. I’m so sedated that my mind can’t manage it I suppose.

Thoughts of suicide started to enter into my mind at a very young age. I remember when I was about 10 years old, drying the dishes after dinner and thinking about what it would be like to hurt myself with one of the knives. It was terrifying. I was terrified. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t tell anyone, who knows what they might of thought. So I just kept keeping on, doing my best to try and keep the thoughts out of my mind.

Fast forward a few years and I found out just what that knife felt like. I had scars all over my arm and some more on my leg. They were starting to get really hard to hide. But I couldn’t stop, it was like an addiction, I wanted more. I was self harming more and more as the thoughts of suicide got stronger and stronger. When I was 15, I over dosed. When I told my Mum she took me to the emergency room where I was put on a drip for the night. After that I was transferred to the psychiatric unit.

For a very long time I kept everything to myself. I didn’t want to bother anyone with my thoughts and I didn’t want anyone to think that I was weird or strange. Sometimes the voices told me not to say anything too. I had no idea what was happening to me, what was going on in my head but I was afraid to speak up about it.

When I was young we weren’t taught about mental illness in schools. I think in high school they may have glossed over the subject. I really had hardly any idea of what mental illness was until I was 15 and hospitalised. It was just a little bit traumatising. Had we been taught about it at a young age, even before high school, I wonder what might have happened. Had we been taught that it’s okay not to be okay would it have made a difference? If we were taught about mental illnesses would I have recognised mine for what it was? Would I have spoken up and said, ‘I’m not okay’? Maybe. Maybe I would have understood that the things I was seeing and hearing were hallucinations. Maybe I would have recognised my suicidal thoughts were not normal. Maybe I would have spoken up and said something.

It's okay not to be okay. It is always okay to talk about mental illnesses. Talking about mental illness with those who don’t suffer can help them to understand and talking about it with those who do can help them to feel less alone. It’s okay.


About the Author

My name is Meghan. I have Bipolar I Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder. Sometimes life is tough but you know what? I’m tougher. I have a love of writing, painting, rain, and stuffed animals.

Follow me on my website/blog, Twitter (@alwaysunstable), and Facebook (Always Unstable).


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