Dear Mental Health,
I wish everyone accepted you the way that I do. My diagnosis is not who I am, but it does come in a package deal with having me in their life. You’re used as leverage for people to bully me, for my dad to bring me down, for my mother to worry.
It is impossible to explain a color someone has never seen before, and it is impossible for a healthy person to empathize completely. I fear dating because I have to drop the news that I have you. I hate you, but I must accept you. I don’t even remember a time before therapy, before all the medications, the hospital trips, the days where I was just labeled as a ‘dramatic’ child. I’m glad my mother has come to terms with you, but you make me insecure.
I’m scared to have children one day because I fear passing on this burden to them genetically. I have guilt because my mother has a constantly ill child with an incurable mental disease. This battle no longer involves just me, but those who choose to love me.
I speak about you freely now, and I accept that not everyone will love me after learning about you. I no longer fear that I will not succeed in a career like I was told by many. I am still learning to cope with you constantly bearing on my shoulders, but I will never give up on this war like I have tried to many times before.
You are like a tattoo. You fade, but you never disappear. You can be retouched and more vivid, but you will always be there. I am sorry for trying to fight you off, I know that only angered you. I am going to learn to go through this life, you and me, together.
The mind and body in which you take shelter