Glamorization of mental illnesses

Yeah, I’m fully aware that about a thousand people have already made their rants about this topic, but I really don’t care. It’s tragic that we spent years trying to raise awareness for these disorders and now we have the attention we needed and instead of realizing how serious this issue is, (especially young) people suddenly think it’s something you should be happy to suffer from. Isn’t the word ILLNESS enough to understand that it’s not something you should want? Obviously not. Somehow, stupid kids think that’s it’s cool, glamorous or special to suffer from disorders. How can you be SO blind?

A few examples…

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I really can’t believe my eyes when reading this. Whoever wrote this admitted that it’s a disease and explained that it can’t not be beautiful to suffer from it. Right. So just because someone suffers from cancer doesn’t mean they that tumors aren’t cool, right? Is it inappropriate to make this analogy? Probably. But is it appropriate to state that starving yourself to death for a distorted body image is beautiful? No. Anorexic people destroy their bodies systematically for an illusion in their heads that isn’t, has never been and will never be real and there is absolutely nothing beautiful about sacrificing your entire life to become a walking skeleton you won’t even see in the mirror. And believe me, they don’t think that’s beautiful either. And you know why? Because anorexia is a disorder.

But there’s another great thing: Merchandise.

Really, Urban Outfitters? Is suffering from an illness that makes people take their own lives so great that you need to print it on a shirt?

And another reason why I love this store… Isn’t it bad enough that this model looks like she’ll be admitted to the hospital tomorrow? Do you also need to make her wear the statement?

And how about this beautiful necklace that’s been tagged with being ‘pastel’ and ‘grunge’? Yeah, it’s so great to feel like hiding in your room for your entire life because even the smallest social interactions terrify you.

Mental Illness T-Shirt

Don’t we ALL love it when something invisible destroys our lives every day?

It might not be Christmas yet, but didn’t Target sell a nice holiday sweater last year? Why shouldn’t we joke about the constant checking, repeating, cleaning and obsessing? Cause, you know, it’s funny.

But unfortuely, this is not where the glamorization ends. The Internet is the best source for it:

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Maybe we’ll see how many hearts it takes to starve to death!

grunge

How much we all love insomnia. 

thinspo, text, and thin image

Never give up until you’re either dead or chained to the hospital bed!

skinny, thin, and thinspo image

(on the road to destruction)

acid

We’re SO cool.

girl, skinny, and thinspo image

Who cares you’re dying as long as your bones are showing?

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(yay, we’re sick!)

I can’t even put it into words what I think about such pictures. They make me speechless and that’s rather rare for me. It’s just… Why? Why is this considered desirable to be mentally sick? Why do they think sicknesses are worth striving for? What is wrong with this world and this generation?

Things nobody tells you about mental disorders

Today’s pop culture has created a certain image of the life with mental disorders, but there are many parts all those books, movies and songs never mention, things even people with the illnesses often don’t even realize.

1. Choosing recovery
Yes, recovery is a choice everyone can make, but people always make it look like you do that once and for all and then there might be this or the other relapse and then you’re on a rollercoaster that only goes up, right? Well, that’s not how it works. Recovery is not something you decide for once, but every day. And that’s what makes it so hard. Every time you’re being confronted with the triggers of your disorder, you need to make the choice again. Will I choose the easy way and just give in to the voice in my head or will I do the right and hard thing and fight it? You know that giving in will give make you feel relaxed, comfortable and peaceful for a while (unlike fighting it which will make you feel stressed and anxious), but you also know that it will destroy you. That’s why you chose recovery in the first place. You don’t want the disorder to destroy you. But it’s so much easier, isn’t it? For instance, one of my biggest triggers is food and I need to make the choice to either starve, binge, purge or eat healthy and normal every single day and it doesn’t get easier. Not at all.

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2. How hard the simplest things can be

ugly, i hate my body, and i'm so fat image

One example: summer. It’s July, really hot and sunny, and everyone I know loves spending their spare time swimming, tanning and relaxing at the lake. Well, everyone but me. I love swimming and spending time with my friends and family, but besides the fact that I hate the heat, tanning and sunshine in general, short clothes make me feel nothing but terrible. I hate my body. The stretch marks, the weight, the scars… I can’t wear anything that shows more than my arms and decollete, and therefore shorts or, even worse, bikinis, are absolutely impossible. Sucks. And the hardest part will be our vacation at the end of the summer which will be, yay, in Italy. One of the most beautiful countries in the world, but also one of the countries where you can’t wear jeans in August, especially not at the beach or pool. Thanks, eating disorder. Everyone is excited about their vacation and I’m scared as hell.

3. The magical cure named counseling
Isn’t it what everyone expects? You show up for your appointments, cooperate, do what the therapist wants and then you’re automatically better because, you know, that person has studied this and is getting a shit load of money for treating you. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works either. Yes, counseling will help you, but it will not cure you. Regardless of how much time you spend with your therapist, you still need to work on yourself even more. Those people can only listen to your problems, give you advice and make you realize what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, but they can’t solve anything. Unfortunately, the only one who can save you is you.

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4. How hard living with such a disorder is
Mental illnesses don’t take breaks. They don’t show up and disappear when it’s convenient. They’re always there, every second, every minute, every hour, every day, and it never ends. Why don’t people realize that there’s nothing harder than fighting a war inside your own head all the time?

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5. No, just because I’m fine doesn’t mean I’ll always be

miley cyrus, depression, and quote image

Yeah, there are good days, but there are also bad ones. I might be okay today, but I’ll probably break down tomorrow because one good day doesn’t mean that everything is over and will always be awesome. That’s not how it works. That’s not how easy it is.

6. That there’s nothing romantic, beautiful or glamorous about it

depression, sad, and self harm image

Depression is not sitting on the rooftop at night with a cigarette Lana Del Rey songs. It’s lying in your bed at the middle of the night wondering how long you’ll be able to handle feeling so frozen inside, like there’s nothing left of you.

Anorexia is not a skinny pretty girl refusing a piece of cake for her bikini body. It’s a voice in your head that makes you feel like you will never be good enough until you’ve starved yourself to death.

Anxiety is not burying your face in your lover’s chest being told that everything will be okay. It’s a constant terrifying fear that makes even the smallest things impossible to handle.

Oh, and then there are those people who post their self harm wounds because the blood is so inspiring and beautiful and whatever.

Like, seriously?

Why the fucking hell do people think it’s cool or special to suffer from a disorder? What. Is. Wrong. With. You?

How we change

I met a very good friend of mine today. We kind of lost touch over the last two years, but after today we promised each other we’d meet more often again. Our first encounter might not have been very positive because it was in the psychiatry a couple years ago, but I’ve always liked him and he’s always been important to me. Until today, I never realized how much both of us have changed, but also have in common. I always only saw our differences and never our similarities. For instance, we both tend to criticize ourselves way too much and never think anything we are or accomplish is ever gonna be good enough. Even worse or better (depending on the point of view), we both have this mindset from our fathers with their high expectations. And neither of us knows how to handle relationships with all the trust issues and stuff. Oh, and did I mention that we both can’t really talk about our problems openly or feel like people don’t even want to know about them? Except for when we’re with each other. It’s like I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t reject or judge me and, more importantly, we always understand each other. Our fears, weaknesses, insecurities and loneliness. So much of that. But neither of us is like when we first met years ago. We’ve grown up, at least partly, started to accept responsibilities, face and conquer fears and while he has managed to stop sacrificing and destroying himself for everyone around him, I’ve started to care and no longer disrespect all kinds of rules and authorities. It’s weird how you never see how different you are from how you were until you go back to your past. But he’s not just my past; not anymore. I really care about him and don’t want to lose him as a friend. Maybe I’ve even developed some romantic feelings for him, but they don’t matter. I’ve spent a great day with him and my son I’d brought with me today and I will see him again as well, but there’s no way for us to ever get together. We both have changed and, on the other hand, also have more in common than I ever thought before, but neither of us is capable of any kind of romantic commitment at the moment and neither of us will probably ever be. As much as I care about him, we’re both rather messed up. Anyway, where I actually wanted to go with this post is how much it amazed me to see how people change and still keep what I love about them. I wonder if other people think about me this way too. I wonder if someone appreciates me the way I appreciate them and if they think I’ve changed positively.

Holding on and letting go

Years ago, I lived in a village where I attempted to commit suicide twice, lost a friend when she killed herself, sank deep into several mental disorders for the first time, was hospitalized for the first couple times and completely lost myself. Today, I went back to this village to see the last friend from this time I’m still holding on to. I’d gone back there before and hadn’t been able to handle it at all which had resulted in a mental breakdown, but I promised myself it would be different this time.
I promised myself I’d make it through.
And guess what?
I did.
boy, Chace Crawford, and love image
Can’t say it wasn’t hard, though, because it was. I took a train and therefore passed by all those places I’ve tried so hard to forget but couldn’t. There is the school where I was bullied and where I wrote my name on a wall a day before trying to kill myself, the train stations where I thought about throwing myself on the tracks, the spot where I actually almost succeeded, the streets I wandered lost at night, the house where I binged, purged, self-harmed and starved for the first time while living there at the age of eleven and the houses of friends who left me alone when I needed them the most.
I saw the place where I went to die for the first time.
Can you imagine that?
Almost nothing has changed where my life once fell apart. One of my old school buildings where I used to take some classes is gone, and they’ve built several shelters for refugees near the train station, but that’s it and that’s what almost tore me apart- again.
But I swore to myself I’d hold on this time and would not give in to the pain inside of me. When I felt the first tears burning in my eyes like acid, I swallowed hard, lifted my chin, closed my eyes and held on. And I managed to spend all day in this village without falling apart. I kept telling myself I’m different today, a different person living a different life. I’m not weak anymore and I don’t hide anymore either. I’m strong and I know I can make it. Hell, I haven’t recovered, not at all, and I need to admit that I’m afraid I’ll never be able to recover completely, but today I know that there’s always a reason to keep going and nothing is ever so bad that it’s not worth staying strong.
I realized that, no matter how terrible many days have been again lately, I can still get better and there are still good days worth fighting for. I still hate myself and I could cry every time I look into the mirror, but I don’t let that stop me.
I’m different today.
Stronger.
Alive.
I’m a mom, a young woman, recovering and relapsing, strong and independent, I know what and who I want and need and how to get it. I know what’s good for me and what’s not and what’s most important…
Unlike back then, I know when I need to hold on and when it’s smarter to let go.

quote, grunge, and Lyrics image

Just remember, even your worst days only have 24 hours.

 

I was so sure.

“Breathe”
That’s what they’re telling me
But I just can’t calm down

“Grieve”
I know it’s what I need
But I just don’t know how

All these voices get so loud
But they still can’t drown the sound
Of me knowing this is all my fault
We’re still too young, this is too much
But I still know that there must
Have been something that I could have done

I was so sure
But I fell short
I thought I’d stand tall and shake the ashes off
I told myself that I could be strong
I was so sure

“Scream”
My words are failing me
When did we become so numb?

“Please”
Don’t tell me anything
The past can’t be undone

All these voices get so loud
But they still can’t drown the sound
Of the fact that everything has changed
We’re still too young, this is too much
I was naive and out of touch
I was so sick of always needing saved

I was so sure
But I fell short
I thought I’d stand tall and shake the ashes off
I told myself that I could be strong
I was so sure

“Breathe”
That’s what they’re telling me
But I just don’t know how

KAYA SCODELARIO, disappointed, and gif image

“I’m okay” That’s what you need to hear, isn’t it?

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I never thought it would be so easy to slip back into an eating disorder. Everything was fine during the whole pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding and then… Then they came back, all those thoughts about my body. Small and quiet at first, but then louder and more painful with every single day until I couldn’t resist it anymore. And now, well, I haven’t told anyone yet, but I’m bulimic again. Not nearly as bad as it used to be, actually ridiculous compared to what I went through before my son, but still I binge and purge between five and ten times per week. Like I said, nothing compared to the fifty to hundred times per week I was used to two or three years ago, but yeah, it sucks. And it scares the shit out of me. I know what it did to me once and what it might do to me again and even more important, that it could get worse again.
And the scariest part is telling someone because that would mean admitting that I’m not as strong as I am on the outside and I don’t want anyone to see my weaknesses. It would mean admitting that I have a problem again.
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I don’t know what to do. Whenever I eat, my thoughts start racing and I feel worthless and guilty. After everything I’ve gone through, this is where I end up.
Ah, and I keep thinking about starvation again. Not that I’ll do it, I can’t because I know people will notice. They will because I won’t just stop ‘there’. That’s not how it works. Sure, you think you know how far you can go, where your limit is, where you reach the point when you’ll be like ‘now I’m skinny enough’, but that won’t happen. You’ll never realize it. You’ll set your goal, reach it, tear it down and build it again five pounds lower on the scale, over and over again, without even realizing you’re killing yourself. An eating disorder is basically slow suicide without noticing it.
You believe the lies that one day, you’ll be enough, but that won’t happen. It won’t be enough for the eating disorder until you’re six feet under. So why am I doing this? I know where it gets people and where it got me once, but I do it anyway.
Maybe the idea of accepting my body the way it is now (which is normal and healthy, but not skinny anymore) is even more frightening than the idea of destroying my body all over again. I actually want to accept and love myself the way I am because I know that there’s nothing wrong with me and that self hate is wrong and useless, but I just can’t. Deep down, I’m afraid that accepting things as they are will make me weak, lazy and incapable, so no matter what I do, I can’t get the idea of never being good enough out of my head. I spend the late evenings binging and purging until I’ve got red eyes and a runny nose, hoping that, at some point, I’ll be able to accept things I can’t or I’m not supposed to change.
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But I’ll probably never reach this point. There’s this barrier in my head my dad built the foundations for and I built the rest of it brick by brick over the years and this barrier makes it impossible for me to settle down and just be satisfied. It’s this thing in there that tells me that nothing is ever enough and even if I was able to tear it down, I’d be to scared to do it.
Two days ago, I was told that I’ve passed all of my finals and will graduate at the end of the month (but that’ll be only for 10th grade because I’ve missed a whole school year a couple years ago and because Germany’s school system is far more complicated than the American and to get a real high school diploma I’ll need to apply for college, I’ll have to continue studying from home for four more years – which means I won’t be able to attend college till I’m 21 – in September while my son will be in daycare until noon on weekdays).

Anyway, I’ve taken a huge step and reached a huge goal by graduating from this school already and I actually did a really good job and everyone is proud of me and I was looking forward to being too… But I’m not. I don’t know how much time I’ve spent trying to convince myself that I have every reason to be proud of myself and that I’ve accomplished more than half the people I know who have half the problems I have, but the barrier won’t ever let me be proud of myself because it tells me there’s still something missing. And I keep telling myself I’ll feel this pride after the actual high school diploma and college and stuff, but who am I trying to convince here? It doesn’t matter what I do. I won’t love myself.
So I keep fighting and hoping and until then, I’ll have to deal with feeling worthless. But I’m okay, right? “We’ll just have to act like everything’s fine.” That’s all that matters. I focuse on the positive things and swallow the emptiness that makes me feel like dying inside. Smile, stay strong and don’t give up. There’s no other way.
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In the hardest times we grow the most