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I’m trying my best, like everyone else – don’t treat me like a burden

Harriet - Time To Change

"I can’t choose to be happy or pretend. It’s not for fashion and it isn’t quick."

I often feel like people in my life can be caring…but only for a short time and only if it doesn’t interfere with their own lives.

There are times I haven’t left my bed for 3 or 4 days. My thoughts have turned against me. My mind battles to stay alive. I hear an overwhelming voice telling me my friends hate me, that they’re talking about me, laughing at me or plotting against me.

At first it feels like my friends care, check in and worry about me. But soon it feels like I’m a burden and I hear things from them that aren’t helpful.

Why aren’t you better?
You’re dragging this out a bit aren’t you?
Attention seeker.
Drama queen.
Think positive!
One step at a time.
Think how lucky you are!
Think how others have it so much worse!
What have you got to be sad about?

I feel guilty and I know I need to cut these people out, but I also feel like I’m running out of people who are on my side.

Another card goes around the office for people off work sick. But where was my card?

Oh sorry, we don’t get cards for people like you. What would we say, how would you react?
We only care about ‘real’ sickness, cards are for the people with the ‘real’ problems.

Why can’t you leave your problems at home?
You are here to work.
You’re pulling others down, it’s upsetting for your colleagues.
You’re such hard work.
You’re crazy.

I can’t choose to be happy or pretend. It’s not for fashion and it isn’t quick. I’m sorry that I cannot fit into your box. I’m sorry that my mental health is annoying you, is upsetting you, is boring you. I did not choose this. I can’t help this. I will not be hidden away. This is me, trying my best, doing my job. This keeps me well, and I have good days and bad days. I do not know when they will come, only when they are here.

I don’t want to be ashamed of being unwell and I’m not. I am comfortable with who I am and you should be too. We all have health, good and bad. Don’t try and make me feel like less of a person, an outcast.

I am me and I am proud of the battle that I have fought and the battles I will keep fighting.

Please treat me as a person, please don’t talk behind my back, please ask me how I feel and ask me how I am.

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