Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 29

This is the 29th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Janna has been alone her whole life, but has found hope in becoming an actress. This is her story:

Photo from: Janna
Photo from: Janna

Janna is from California and singing is her passion. She enjoys acting and watching indie movies. She is also fond of music. Even though her playlist has various music genres, she mostly listens to punk, rock, and grunge. Jana is a Virgo and she considers herself to possess many of the typical Virgo qualities such as; being rational, cold hearted, intelligent, and analytical. Her goal is to become a famous singer and actress. Janna said, “It is the only thing I want in life and I’d die for it. In five years I hope to be debuting and album and acting in movies and TV shows. Without this dream I would have been long since dead.”

She has been diagnosed by many psychiatrists with major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, dysthymia, anorexia, and bulimia. Janna does not know what caused her mental illnesses. She has been in an inpatient treatment in a mental hospital six times and has been in an outpatient treatment twice. Janna has also been to different group and individual therapies. She is currently on medication as well.

The symptoms Janna felt took a toll on her life. She said, “I feel heavy. Like this stuck in molasses feeling. Or like weights are tied to my arms and legs making it hard to move and get out of bed. My chest feels heavy sometimes like it is decaying onto itself. I can sleep for 17 hours and still need more rest or I can sleep for none and be just fine.” Janna did not perform well in school, she said, “It was seemingly impossible to pick up a pencil and do homework. I mean why I would care about my grades if I didn’t care about my life.” Janna stopped talking to everyone and ignored anyone who tried to talk to her. Her room smelled stale and was covered in dirty clothes because she had no energy to clean anything. Janna said, “I didn’t go out I just stayed in my room for weeks on my phone or staring at a wall.”

Sadly, Janna attempted suicide a few times. She said, “The first time I took 35 of my antidepressants. The second time I took 17 aspirins and 23 Tylenols. After that didn’t work I tried to slit my wrists and then hang myself.” Janna also said, “Just imagine going to bed every night terrified you would wake up in the morning. Praying to god to take you in the night. I can’t even begin to accurately describe the pain of wanting to kill myself every single day.” Not only that, but Janna would cut nearly every day for months and would also throw up every meal for weeks.

Image from:
Image by: chibird

Janna did not have any relationship with others. She said, “I cut everyone out and ceased communication with the world outside my house.” This made her feel angry and trapped. She said, “I was raised as a solitary independent person. My mother had cancer so she wasn’t available. My father was busy trying to keep my two sisters, who were 9 and 11 years older than I was, involved in their soccer and basketball games. My life was spent alone or in the backseat of a car having no one to talk to but myself.” The turning point for Janna to gain control over her illness is her desire to become a famous actress. She also keeps herself busy with school and work.

Janna feels like she hasn’t learned a lesson. She said, “I don’t believe people are supposed to learn lessons. I mean it’s a disorder and it hurts. You just start to put pain and things in perspective. If anything it has drained me and made me empty. I don’t see a lesson in that.” Her illness has changed her outlook in life. Janna said, “Since my early years I have always been sad. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I was happy. I look at life as meaningless and insignificant. Nothing we do matters.”

This is her advice for others struggling through similar situations:

Three simple rules in life:

  1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
  2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
  3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.

If anyone wants to reach out to her, this is her tumblr: (X)

Janna has a long road to recovery, I hope she can find peace in life and become the actress and singer she longs to be. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.

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