There are no bandages for emotional pain. You can’t put a cast on a broken heart, and bandaids cannot cover a cut on the soul. When you break up with someone, you lose a loved one, you lose a friend, or someone says something mean, you hurt inside. It’s hard to explain internal pain, and it’s not easy to patch up wounds you can’t see. When you suffer with depression and other mental illnesses, living becomes painful. It hurts all through your soul, heart, and very being to face another day. It’s nearly impossible to explain to others how bad you hurt inside.
When I was sick, I was filled with many awful feelings that I couldn’t explain. They tore and sliced at my heart and soul. Nothing seemed to ease my agony. I wanted to tell my family how I felt, but I feared they wouldn’t understand. Each day I ached inside. Just waking up in the morning was a struggle and I had to push myself through the day. How could I tell anyone that living each day hurt?
It’s like mental illness declared war on not only my mind, but also on everything within me. My emotions were out of control and they hurt. Each day I struggled with anguish, deep sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, and helplessness. At night those feelings, mixed with racing thoughts, kept me up. I thought I was also causing my family grief. I just wanted to end my pain and everyone else’s. I injured myself because physical wounds felt better than what was happening within me. Then I planned out my death. If I were dead, my agony would be all gone and I wouldn’t harm my family anymore.
Having Borderline Personality Disorder intensified my inner pain. Often I burst out into episodes. I screamed, I cried, I broke things, and I injured. Living hurt, and during my episode my emotional pain burned through me like an inferno. I lost control of myself and my actions. The feeling of having no control scared me, and knowing I hurt others during my episodes cut through me like a knife. I hated myself for my actions and for not being able to handle them. I hated hurting the people I loved. I hated being in such pain.
I believe my mental illness was a chemical imbalance in my brain and also brought on by bullying in school. My classmates’ and teachers’ insults cut my heart and soul deeply. There were no bandages to fix up my wounds, and there were no casts to hold my broken heart together. What were left were open sores that created Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, and anxiety. Instead I was left to struggle many years with the hurt of living with a mental illness.
In time I found ways to ease the hurt. I started journaling about my feelings. I also found healthy ways to release my pain instead of self-injuring, and I started going to therapy and learning coping techniques. Some techniques were turning my bad thoughts into positive, taking care of myself, taking medication, going to therapy, using a punching bag or pillow to release my anger, building a support system to turn to when the pain got too much, and doing crafts and activities to keep my mind busy.
When living starts hurting and you feel like there is no way out, turn to someone you can trust like family or a close friend. Get help. Instead of giving up on living, find coping techniques and healthy ways to ease your aching soul. Find a way that works for you to express your feelings. Build up a support system you can turn to whenever you need to. I had a friend I called night and day when I need someone to help me through the darkness. I even called her at two in the morning when my emotions were so painful I couldn’t handle existing. Not every friend will be there for you at that time, but be respectful of the times he or she is available.
Living no longer hurts for me. I now have my illness under control. I’m not cured and there are bad days, but with coping techniques, my support system and my husband, I get through them without hurting myself, going into an episode, or contemplating taking my life. Life hurts at one time or another and there is nothing we can do to stop it, but when life hurts, I cope and I go forward. Because I can cope with my pain I can stand in the light of recovery.