Hiding the crazy

A conversation the other night got me thinking, why do I hide the ‘crazy’? Why do I find it so hard to simply embrace the side of myself that others might not accept and let it all hang out so to speak.

I hide my depression, my slightly obsessive side, the anxiety….I hide them from the world and try to hide them from myself when possible in order to be ‘normal’. Everyone must do this to a certain extent to be able to get along in the world but when it takes me to the point where it’s easier to hide from everyone, I know it’s not healthy.  I feel myself slipping back into bad habits, avoiding shopping when it will be busy, not making eye contact with people, wanting to listen to music when out walking rather than being able to hear what’s going on around me. I have to stop these things before they get out of hand and I end up having to have someone take me out into the real world and help me overcome panic attacks when going for a pint of milk again.

So, back to the question in hand. If I know that almost everyone has these problems at some point in their life, why do I feel the need to hide the fact from the world at large? The answer is simple, I am embarrassed by them and I am scared people will not like me.

I know that some people will judge me if they know about the issues I have due to the stigma that accompanies them. Perhaps it is because they do not understand mental health problems, perhaps it is because we have always been told to ‘pull yourself together’ when low or anxious, but whatever the reason I know that the stigma is there and the idea of people judging me in that way scares me more than I would even admit to myself in the past.

This shame cycle annoys me more than I can put into words, if I could get rid of this reflex from the way my mind works I would be a much happier person and would probably not have the problems that make me ashamed of myself! I’m working on it though and this blog is part of that. I may still be selective in the people I show this to but it’s a start and I am proud to be part of this community where people can be so open about their lives. We have made a start in getting rid of the stigma and just like in our recovery, the first baby steps will be the hardest but the ones we look back on with the most pride.

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7 thoughts on “Hiding the crazy

  1. I can identify with this. I’ve been learning to deal with it by turning any negative reactions back on the person they from.

    You have a right be here as a whole person. Anyone who has a problem with that, should have a problem to be dealing with on their own. You have enough on your plate.

    Anyone who judges you is a jerk, whatever their intentions, and the sooner they learn that the better.

    I think we’re the ones who are going to have to normalise our illnesses because were the only ones can really understand them. Most people can’t learn to accept unless they’ve first been taught to understand.

    1. Thank you for your reply, I agree with you we have to make it normal and make others realise what mental health issues entail. The world will get there eventually and most people will come to accept that the problems we have are real and need understanding to solve them.

  2. and by the way, i don’t mean ’embrace the crazy’ as in, ‘run with it and end up eating beans out of a shoe’, but don’t be ashamed.

    1. hee hee beans out of a shoe!

      It took me years to be able to really tell everyone about my depression – I thought it signified being weak some how, the reality is it’s made me stronger. Have you noticed as we are getting older it’s turning out that a good chunk of our friends have been to the GP for that reason? I’m now proud that I’ve had depression, it’s made me the person I am who I think is far less irritating and more compassionate that I was (don’t get me wrong I don’t meet someone and say ‘hey I’m Carrie and I’ve had depression’, although saying I’m training to be a MH nurse pretty much does the same thing.) However when I’ve been down the feelings of worthlessness hit with avengegence and who knows if it ever strikes again (which lets face it there’s a good chance) those proud feelings will probably fly out of the window! Mental Health is something I feel passionate about and it makes me proud that you guys all blog on here about your experiences and that I can call you my friends. Just to repeat the Mathwinian- we love you anyway! x

      1. Awwww you’ve made me feel all soppy now. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and the fact it’s lead you to something you’re really passionate about we should all be proud of where we are and how we have got there. There’s many bonuses to knowing we all struggle with it, least of all knowing there are people there who we can talk to about it and be understood, you’ll be a fab MH nurse! xx

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