Killing the Lions

My heart is beating out of my chest. My head is spinning.  I’m hyperventilating out of control.  I can’t breath. I’m crying. Hi, I’m anxiety. 

Anxiety, everyone knows the name.  Fewer know how incredibly crippling it can actually be.  As an advocate for those suffering from mental illness to someone who suffers from a variety of illnesses myself, I can personally tell you anxiety is not just stress.  Anxiety Disorder can take someone from being fine one minute To being a crippled state of panic the next.  Anxiety can feel anywhere from a tense, teeth gritting feeling, to a heart attack gripping you with pain. Pain, real, physical pain.

I recently told my boyfriend,

It’s all of it. The mania, the depression, the anxiety…  It feels like I’m at a constant battle with myself and it’s exhausting. The worst part is people don’t understand. I can’t say, “sorry I’m not feeling well because of a cold”.. I have to say it’s depression or anxiety and I get responses that range from, “well that’s okay, you can do it. You’re fine.” or “You don’t have to be anxious. There is nothing to be anxious about.” The thing is, I know all this but I still am (anxious or depressed) but there is literally nothing I can do about it. My brain wants me dead. It’s kicking my ass and I’m trying to be normal, but on days like yesterday and then today it keeps me down and then I feel guilty for not being present and it makes it worse. I’m so sick of this. I know you struggle with anxiety but I wish you could understand how deep this is and what I’m feeling… I just want to be “better”.

The heart of it still stems from something I’m constantly speaking on.  That is, mental illnesses are not looked at the same as any other illness.  It is so easily dismissed.  The problem is that it is so real.  The problem is I can’t convey that to others without feeling like a flake.  I’m not if others feel that way but I can imagine many people suffering the way I am, probably do.

Maybe I’m compiling and I’m sorry if I am, I just know writing is the only way I can calm my mind without using drugs or doing something even more harmful.

I write for me but I also write for others.  My friend, family, and followers: if we can raise awareness of this issue.  If we can continue to press into others and let them know that this is real and we are fighting, then maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference.

“Behind my eyelids are islands of violence.  My minds shipwrecked this is the only land my mind could find. Who knew it was such a violent islend; suicidal crazed lions have been trying to win. Blood is running down their chin.  I know that I could fight or I could let lions in.  I begin to assemble what weapons I could find, because sometimes to stay alive you’ve got to kill your mind” -Migraine by twenty øne piløts

The artwork chosen for this post is a visual representation of the above quote.  I painted it while I was in the hospital a few months ago. The medium is watercolor. If you like it, please send me songs or quotes about mental illness and I’d love to turn it into a piece of art.

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