Mental Illness Recovery Series: Short Story # 37

This is short story number 37 of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Anonymous hasn’t fully recovered yet, but she has come a long way from where she used to be. This is her story:

Anonymous loves to dance, she has been dancing for 12 years now. She enjoys spending time with children and eating cookie dough. Her goal is to open a dance studio or become an actress. Anonymous still struggles with depression and EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). Depression runs in her family, and she believes her eating disorder and depression might have been triggered by the negative image she has of herself.

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Anonymous was diagnosed by a professional with depression, but her EDNOS was self-diagnosed and she has currently takes antidepressants. She has struggled with debilitating symptoms, anonymous said; “Honestly, I didn’t feel much of anything. When I didn’t have to do anything, I would just lay in my bed a lot because I didn’t have the motivation to do anything else. If I had to do something, I’d put it off as much as possible. I felt like a zombie almost all the time, but it never really showed to others.” At times she also felt extreme anger, almost like rage for no apparent reason.

This affected her daily life because she stayed in her room all day, avoiding any interaction with people. It took a lot of energy for her to smile because she wanted to hide her feelings. She couldn’t sleep at night, so all anonymous wanted to do was sleep all day. She used to self-harm, which increased when her depression worsened. She said, “I would cut myself to feel something, or to release the anger I felt.” Her relationships with others wasn’t affected much because she hid her depression well. This made her feel trapped, she said, “I didn’t feel like I could confide in anyone about what I was dealing with, but I couldn’t deal with it by myself.”

Anonymous didn’t realize that what she was feeling wasn’t normal, which down-played her problems, but she slowly figured it out. One evening she talked to a close family member about it and got help. The strategies she uses to control her mental disorder is to take medication. She also tossed out all of her blades, so she couldn’t self-harm anymore. The lesson anonymous learned from this ordeal is that she is strong, she said, “It’s a lesson I’ve learned more than once.” This experience helped her notice the world isn’t so bad when you know where to look. She doesn’t know if she can prevent herself from falling again, but she now cuts herself some slack sometimes, which is something she never used to do.

This is her advice for others struggling with similar situations:

“A lot of people say that you can’t just smile away depression. They are right, but some of it is actually wanting to get better and DOING something to get better. Take your meds, talk to someone or anyone, self-care like eating something delicious and brushing your teeth.”

Anonymous is strong for allowing herself to get help and accepting her disorder. I’m sure in time she will get better. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

Edited by Hamad Hussain

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