imagine the surprise on my face

as my therapist looked me in the eyes

and told me that i do indeed

have a mental disorder.

"no i don't you must be


please check that test again because

i know i gave you all of the right answers

and i know it for sure because i checked

at least 5,000 times"

i thought that mental disorders only applied

to people in mental hospitals

the ones portrayed in movies

that talk to themselves

the ones

that bang their heads against the walls

"this cannot be" "this really is a big


but the only one misunderstanding was


the movies lied because i do not

talk to myself

nor do i bang my head against the wall

i acted like having this mental disorder

was a big flaw, one big


like people would hate me and never talk to me again

when they found out i have


and also

a social anxiety disorder

but again it was i that misunderstood

and as i began daily life with this disorder that i have lived with

for years

i began to see things different

because the scars on people's wrists really weren't

from their cats

and i realized

that my best friend doesn't like to eat in front of people

because she doesn't like to eat at all.

i realized that i am not the only one who cannot order their own food

when they go out to eat

and i realized that the rings around that boy's eyes

didn't come from a late night of homework

they came from many late nights filled with nothing at all

because he also has a mental disorder

except his bars sleep from ever coming to visit his small, shaken body

while mine makes me unexplainably sad

after telling people about my "imperfection" i realized

some people really just don't get it

if i had the power to stop my depression i would've flipped the switch

in the 7th grade

the year before things went down the drain

and if thinking a positive thought to counteract every negative one

really can beat this monster in my head

then why didn't it disappear 4 months ago when i drank positive thoughts

like they were the water i needed to survive

i realized that going into places that are known for large crowds

will not beat your social anxiety it will only in fact make it worse

because people in crowds do not care if you are having a panic attack

they will bump into and still ask you lots of questions

because they are the people who just don't get it.

this depression doesn't make me less of a person

it only makes me feel like less of a person

and the social anxiety doesn't make me waste away

but it makes me feel as if i have already wasted away

but i must say for myself that i have come a long way

because i now can relate to the people in the Psychology class textbook

and i know that these things are real and oh so close to home

i know that people will give you weird looks when you tell them

about your disorder

but they will not leave you they will only

come closer

i thought telling people about this monster i've been hiding

would make them look at me with disgust

but it makes them look at me with love

so i look at my friends who are also battling this monster

with love

because i know that they are struggling and i am too

i will show them unconditional love even if i am not capable of feeling love

because that is what they need

and i am not the one misunderstanding anymore

oh no

i know that is what they need

because now i understand

for sure


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741