World Mental Health Day 2018: Looking Back & Moving Forward | Jenngem

Looking back, they say that you shouldn't do that, because you're not going that way. But for me, looking back is actually a good thing. It means that I can turn around and look at the experiences and learn from them, and then turn right back around and walk away from the past, and right into my future. 

Mental illness began very early on for me, settling in, and making its home inside my mind at the tender age of nine years old. I remember it vividly. The depression, hitting me like a ton of bricks. Sure, I went to school like any regular kid would do. But when I came home, I would do my homework, and then I would proceed to lay in bed and sleep, or even better, hide behind the couch and cry, where nobody could find me. 

Sure, it most likely stemmed from me learning of my father's diagnosis of AIDS, and as time went on, my parent's got me to a psychiatrist, who put me on all the wrong medications, of which my parents then proceeded to pull me off of. Then my OCD began to come 'round and play. Those days were always so much fun. That was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell. 

I live with Purely Obsessional OCD, amongst other things, but these intrusive thoughts, thoughts that are fleeting for the typical human mind, play about over, and over and over in my head, like a broken record that won't stop playing, and I can't reach the record player to make it stop. Luckily, my psychiatrist and I have been working together for a long time, trying to find what works and what doesn't for me, and after about 6 years, we found that delicate balance of what medications work and their dosages. 

I'm not going to lie and sugar coat things, living with mental illness can be downright scary at times. I mean, a good chunk of the year I was in a depressive episode, sleeping all day, wanting to cry when I was awake, not wanting to do anything, even eat, or take care of myself. But I had to pull myself out of that rut, that vicious and harmful cycle, not only for myself, but for my family. It was hard to do, I won't deny that. There are still days that I want to lay down and cry, but I have to tell myself no, I have a life to live.

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