No one prepared me for the anxiety that eats away at me every day. The constant worrying, the need for perfection, and the distress that deviations cause.
No one prepared me for the depression, the soul-sucking sadness and, even scarier, the loss of feeling at all. The inability to even do things that I love, let alone important things that most people can do on a daily basis. Some days I struggle to even leave my bed.
No one prepared me for the self-hatred and the absolute loathing of myself. Of my mind telling me I’m worthless, broken, and I’ll never be happy or successful. Of pushing people away because I don’t want to hurt them.
No one prepared me for the self-destruction and invasive thoughts. The ache for a sharp blade to pierce my skin, to scream until I’m hoarse, to wish that I was dead, to see myself in scenes out of a horror film with no control over the dark images being shown in my head.
No one prepared me for the loss of friends due to my illnesses. People I had trusted and love becoming frustrated with me and giving up on me. The cruelty and misunderstanding of my personality when I’m anxious/depressed, when I accidentally snap at someone because I’m in so much pain or am unable to do something asked of me.
No one prepared me for the panic attacks I would suffer. The feeling that my heart would beat out of my chest, of my skin tingling, limbs shaking, and an invisible hand gripping my throat tighter and tighter until I can’t breathe.
No one prepared me for the emetophobia that would envelop every aspect of my life. It robbed me of my enjoyment of food, it taught me to be afraid of certain places and of germs, and it causes me to put my health at risk.
No one prepared me for the chemical imbalance in my brain, and every nasty, painful thing that it conjures up.
No one prepared me for the absolute strength I would need to harness every day to not succumb to the darkness within me. To have to fake a smile and hold back tears until I’m alone. To hold my feelings in until I can’t contain them anymore and they come pouring out in a deluge of scrambled thoughts and fast speech.
No one prepared me for the medications I would have to take, the doctors I would have to see, and all the medical tests I would have to have done to see whether what was bothering me was physical or mental. For the dozens of needle pricks I would endure, or the numerous tests run. For the side effects of the different medication I was prescribed. For doctors to give up on me, saying I’m a hopeless case.