The Many Faces (selfie thread)

CacoEther
CacoEther Posts: 2,465 Member
This is not going to be your typical selfie thread. A post that a friend made got me thinking about the many faces of mental illness that probably surround us daily but they’re (figuratively and also literally) masked. Or maybe we lack awareness of just how prevalent mental illness is so we don’t know how ‘normal’ and ‘happy’ it can look.

I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for over a decade now and I tend to talk freely about it. My hope there is to help normalize it by increasing awareness of how prevalent it really is. I often encounter people who poo-poo depression as ‘millennials’ or ‘dramatic’ or ‘millennials being dramatic’, so I fear there’s a long ways to go. I have, however, found the people in this place to be extremely well-versed in the topic. Many have shared their struggles. I feel (dare I say it?) normal here.

So while this thread seems like a very disheartening one, I am hoping that it will help us all to increase our understanding of the many ways it presents. The people who participate here will do so knowing that they have nothing to prove other than what their own depression/anxiety/PTSD/ADHD/etc looks like. There is no narrative dictating how it must look. It’s whatever you share, plus your story if you choose to include it.

Thanks in advance for participating. I’ve made many threads before for which hitting ‘Post Discussion’ made me sweaty, but nothing tops this one.
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Replies

  • CacoEther
    CacoEther Posts: 2,465 Member
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    In a weird way, I hope this thread thrives. I find both insight and inspiration from this conversation @CacoEther (and I'm the one clicking those emojis) because you're right; the struggle is normal yet still needs to be better normalized.

    I really hope to see more pics, otherwise this was just an embarrassing exercise 😅
  • ExpressoLove11
    ExpressoLove11 Posts: 337 Member
    Great thread idea, I used these 4 pictures and will put the descriptions in the spoiler because its Long 😅😆
    Great thread idea ❤

    I've suffered from depression and anxiety my whole life but my lowest started 3 years ago

    1st pic = Severe anxiety, pushing everyone i loved away because I thought everyone was better without me and I didn't want to get hurt so I hurt others instead. Suicidal thoughts, began drinking to forget how to feel. Did things that I still regret to this day.

    2nd Picture: Was hit with the tragic news that after removing a stage 1 cancer and thinking it was over... it came back with a vengance. Stage 3 Breast Cancer that was spread in my Lymphnodes. I knew I had a big fight ahead of me that would also make me lose body parts, my hair.. to top it all off I found out I was carrying a BRCA gene which increased my chances of getting other cancers too so that meant even more surgeries just so I could prevent them.  Prognosis wasn't that great. I hit the lowest of low.

    3rd Picture : I was tired, had started aggressive chemo for 8 months and  that nearly stripped me to zero. I still tried to put my brave face on but it was hard, bad news after bad news but couldn't give up. my kids needed me but so many days I just wanted to stop everything. My kids were my whole reason to stay alive.

    4th picture : 9 months in remission. After being on fight mode for so long, I've been suffering from severe PTSD but you know what? I'm the happiest I've ever been because I see life in a different light and I refuse to not do everything it takes to be as healthy as I can be, counseling, healthy diet, no alcohol. I wish I could have seen how precious it was to be alive 3 years ago.  I'm not the same person but I feel more like myself than I ever have. My 10 year survival rate isn't what I wished it would be but you know what? It's ok because I'm here now and I'm going to do every damn things it takes to stay healthy. I deserve that

    6bhxf4tvokoy.jpg

    You are amazing T, truly ❤
  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,294 Member
    Great thread idea, I used these 4 pictures and will put the descriptions in the spoiler because its Long 😅😆
    Great thread idea ❤

    I've suffered from depression and anxiety my whole life but my lowest started 3 years ago

    1st pic = Severe anxiety, pushing everyone i loved away because I thought everyone was better without me and I didn't want to get hurt so I hurt others instead. Suicidal thoughts, began drinking to forget how to feel. Did things that I still regret to this day.

    2nd Picture: Was hit with the tragic news that after removing a stage 1 cancer and thinking it was over... it came back with a vengance. Stage 3 Breast Cancer that was spread in my Lymphnodes. I knew I had a big fight ahead of me that would also make me lose body parts, my hair.. to top it all off I found out I was carrying a BRCA gene which increased my chances of getting other cancers too so that meant even more surgeries just so I could prevent them.  Prognosis wasn't that great. I hit the lowest of low.

    3rd Picture : I was tired, had started aggressive chemo for 8 months and  that nearly stripped me to zero. I still tried to put my brave face on but it was hard, bad news after bad news but couldn't give up. my kids needed me but so many days I just wanted to stop everything. My kids were my whole reason to stay alive.

    4th picture : 9 months in remission. After being on fight mode for so long, I've been suffering from severe PTSD but you know what? I'm the happiest I've ever been because I see life in a different light and I refuse to not do everything it takes to be as healthy as I can be, counseling, healthy diet, no alcohol. I wish I could have seen how precious it was to be alive 3 years ago.  I'm not the same person but I feel more like myself than I ever have. My 10 year survival rate isn't what I wished it would be but you know what? It's ok because I'm here now and I'm going to do every damn things it takes to stay healthy. I deserve that

    6bhxf4tvokoy.jpg

    I have mad respect for you, lady.

    Really that applies to all of you who have shared here, and grown and persevered through struggles that I can't even imagine. <3
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,722 Member
    @lisamestiza2021 You are one gorgeous lady. <3
    The most important thing is you get healthy and stay healthy, whatever it takes. It must be hard to grab onto hope when you're not feeling it. :( {HUGS} and may you find hope again soon!
  • lisamestiza2021
    lisamestiza2021 Posts: 239 Member
    7414bs0ubsc7.jpg


    I chose this pic because I was genuinely happy in this moment. Happiness is fleeting, much like most emotions.

    Cancer, anxiety, depression and eating disorders have plagued my existence. Years of therapy have provided me with many coping mechanisms, but they only help me to get through the moment....they don't "fix" me, that is my job.

    I no longer blame my parents for my issues, after all, they were damaged by their own parents. I'm also a grown up and there comes a time when pointing the finger is senseless if I'm doing nothing to work on myself.

    I throw myself into my work. My job is caring for others, and what better way to feel good about myself than to give?

    Am I ok? Absolutely! Can I be better? Always. I'm a work in progress, but I'm proud of how far I've come.

    To those of you that struggle - don't give up. Fight the fight! You're worth the effort. 💕

    oh the parental damage done - i hear you on that. it took me years to get over that bump in the road. your resilience and strength over all you've over come is inspirational. you're all that - and then some, M <3