I have been sort-of a work-a-holic most of my existence. Even when I had things to do or certain things going on or even when I just was not 100%, I kept on going as nothing was wrong.
I was either stubborn or in denial that I needed to rest or even set limitations for myself. I have always thought: “you get sick and you get better. It’s as simple as that”. That is really not the case especially when I got older.
When I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression, things fell into place as to why fatigue would happen so often or as to why I would experience muscle pain for days as of my muscles were in the contraction phase of a workout and never relax. I am learning to live with it but never gotten used to it or even being confined to the bed for most of the day.
Lately, I have limit the activities I do in one day so it does not cause pain flare ups.Not by much, but so I do not feel fatigued as much. For example, if I have an anime convention or just going for an outing, I do what I can the day before to make sure I am resting. I cannot always pull this off because I work 40 hours a week. As John Lennon famously said, “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. Pretty much, days will get away from me. The hard part is really my overthinking and my serious perfectionism. Pacing myself works only half the time. The one thing I had to learn is to not side with those who are against me. The comments telling me “you’re to young to be in pain” or “I’m tired too” or “you shouldn’t be depressed” reflect why there is so much stigma and ignorance about mental illness and chronic illness. I have to trust my own judgement.
Remember when your parents or adults would remind you “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you”? Mostly everyone has heard this or was told this. For some it is farther from the truth. Words are used as communication. Once something is said, you can not un-say-it. Ever since a child, I was teased and called every name from nerd, to ugly, to even pull phrases that diminished my self esteem and even bring me to tears. This was every other day. No one took me series then and when I explain my story, no one believes me now.
There are days I wake up literally thinking —
“What would happen if I literally harmed myself or attempted to kill myself, would anyone care?”
Until recently, I actually never knew why someone calling me a name would hurt my feelings until recently. I don’t like confrontation! It has so much to do with social anxiety. The worst part about sitting in class everyday is that everyone would laugh at me and call me names. The only thing the teachers would do is watch; maybe say “stop it” but no action what-so-ever.
Words hurts! Hurtful words spoken intentionally can wound deeply but so can words that are simply part of our vocabulary – words that aren’t meant to be hurtful but nevertheless cause others pain. You are told to “get over it”. I became more reserved and pass it off as just being shy when I was developing a mental illness of anxiety and depression.
Today, I am unable to respond to compliments. I will say “thank you” but I won’t believe someone when they compliment me even though it registers in my heart. It won’t register in my mind. Believe it or not, I am able to interact with people and function normally — on the outside. On the inside, I have several instructive thoughts and want to go in complete solitude.
When it comes to mental health, words matter. They matter when your are young why you are still developing and can be impactful when your are older. Words do hurt. The ridicule, distain, humiliation, taunting, all cause injury. Verbal abuse causes more than emotional trauma. It inflicts lasting physical effects on brain structure. Bullying is series and words are a form of communication. Please be mindful.