My name is Alexandra and I suffer from mental illness.
I have suffered from mental illness since I was a child. Now, at age 30 I am unpacking my trauma and understanding how and why mental illness came knocking at my door. Mental illness is a liar and has altered my thoughts in ways I never could have imagined. I am plagued with negative thoughts and can not trust what I think anymore.
I hope to #BreakTheStigma surrounding mental illness by providing a honest look at the lies my mental health tells me on a daily basis. My mental illness has kicked me down and made me cry and bleed. It’s impact is felt in all aspects of my life and rattles my soul to the core.
It’s hard to articulate how mental health has a hold on me. I often don’t want to talk about it because it’s really scary for me. It’s suffocating. But so many of us are suffering, and suffering in silence. So I feel like I have to speak up, for me and for those who can’t.
I wanted to be able to show what my mental illness feels like. I’m often very outgoing and people GASP when they learn I struggle with lots of demons. I asked my boyfriend to write these words on my face and chest, words I tell myself over and over on a daily basis. Words I believe to be true about myself. Words I don’t feel like I’ll ever escape. Words that hold me hostage. Words that break me down day after day.
It’s really hard to not feel in control of the thoughts that run through your head. It’s really scary.
I’m thankful I have people in my life who support and love me and my daughter and remind me that I’m enough and not a failure, but I look forward to the day I fully believe it myself.
For all those out there suffering out loud and in silence, I’m here. We’re in this together.