My mama always told me what didn’t kill me would make me stronger. She was wrong, so very wrong. I can scroll through Insta and see a ton of memes and reels about mental health and daily struggles. Mostly I laugh at them and send them to my close friends because on some level we can all relate.
In my group of friends, we all have therapists, we all have “outs,” and we are all still a little %@*! ^$ up. You get my point. We make jokes with each other about our current state of mind, but you know what they say about jokes. There is some truth behind each one. Behind my jokes, there is almost 100% truth.
I don’t know how to tell my friends that I am losing my battle with my own mind. I don’t even really know how to tell my therapist this either. Losing my battle doesn’t mean I am plotting anything sinister for myself, but that I am just going through the motions, hopeless of whatever the future may hold for me. I think the most ironic part of all of this is that in public or in person, you would never know that day in and day out I think the world is better without someone like me. You would never imagine that I’ve prayed to not wake up. You can’t fathom the number of times I break down and cry because I am hurting. I am in pain. Life, to me, is pain most days.
But on the outside, I am your typical suburbia housewife with an Ivy League education and a house with a white picket fence (literally). I live a good life, but as my husband would say, “The home’s foundation is firm, but it needs to be rewired.” No. Kidding. Dude.
I’ve seen a lot of talk about mental health lately. It’s in the news. It’s all over the socials and on the Jacksonville Mom page. It’s even in my group texts. There is always talk about resilience and strength and “winning,” but I am a realist, and I am losing. I am losing my battle with my mental health.
Maybe that will change someday. I really hope it does because this hollow feeling, this numb feeling isn’t enjoyable. Life was meant to be lived — experienced, even.
So, to respond to my mama and her “what doesn’t kill you” statement: My mental health hasn’t killed me — but I am certainly not stronger. I’ve become colder, harder, isolated, and living in my own head most days. It hasn’t killed me, but I don’t feel like I am living either. One day, I hope to share a genuine smile or laugh with my family and friends again. I want to feel pride in myself and my accomplishments.
One day. One day at a time. One step at a time. One journal entry at a time. One antidepressant at a time… but today, I am in therapy, fighting. I am fighting for my life back because I am losing my mental health battle. The good news is that I live to fight another day — because failure is not an option for me.
If You Are Struggling, Resources Are Available
Call 911: If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
988 Lifeline: Dial or text 988, which is a confidential, free crisis service that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects people to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741. The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.
Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare.
National Disaster Distress Helpline: Call or text 1-800-985-5990. The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.