A non-love letter to my mental illnesses

Dear Mental Illnesses,

I want to say fuck you. I want to say that because of the dark and twisted ways you mess with my life, because of the lies you whisper lovingly in my ear, and because, especially on days like today, you make me feel alone and isolated, unworthy of the good things in my life, unworthy of the people I love who, despite the lies you tell me, I know love me too.

But the darkness makes me shine in the light even more clearly. Because you force me so low, it makes the good days feel so high. And so I can’t say fuck you, not entirely. Because you are a part of me, a part of me that has created moments I’ll never forget, separated from the darkness by a silver lining, which shines brighter than your darkest depths.

Don’t get me wrong, mental illness, you still suck. A lot. I wouldn’t wish you on anyone. But coming back from your darkness, realizing all that there is that is worth living for, has forced me to learn how to love myself, or at least try. Sometimes, a lot of times, I fail, and your lies have a lot to do with that. So yes, you still suck. But my story isn’t over.

Today is about love, and because of you I’m learning everyday to love myself in ways that are dark and twisted and a little broken. Ways that are certainly miles from the brightly colored displays you see in stores, but in ways that are uniquely me.

I will still stumble and fall. But I will get up again. I will get up again because I love myself enough to do so. And because I know others love me too. Despite your lies I know that I am loved and I am worthy of love. And I wish, I wish with my whole heart that others out there know that too. That that are learning to love themselves in ways that are just as darkly unique and brilliantly beautiful. Because in the long run I am stronger than you. And I pray that all those struggling in the darkness you create realize they are stronger too, even if they might not realize it yet.

This isn’t the sentiment of the bright pink and red fluffery that assaults you from every retail corner imaginable at this time of year. Thanks to you, my dear, not so sweet mental illnesses, neither am I. And that’s okay. Because I am me.

I am me, in part because of you. Maybe one day they will find a cure and I will be rid of you, but until then I’m stuck with you. I won’t say I love you. But I accept that you are a part of me. I accept myself, damaged and troubled, but still standing. Some days I even love myself. And I’ll still be standing, still be finding ways to love myself, for a long time, regardless of the lies you create, because of the help I’ve received and the people who love me.

So you will not ruin this day for me anymore, and I pray you won’t ruin it for others either. Because today I know I am loved. And I love each and everyone out there reading this who is struggling with the darkness in which you dwell, even if I’ve never met them. So keep trying to spread your darkness. Because I truly believe that love will someday conquer all. Even you.

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