There’s no doubt that having any kind of eating disorder, or any disorder for that matter, is hard. Excruciatingly hard. What you feel is not felt by anyone else. You are alone in your pain….
But only if you let it be so.
Mental illnesses are so hard to understand simply because most people are not mind readers, people can only faintly grasp what is really going on in your head. When you break your leg, people will see the bone sticking out but when something in your mind ‘breaks’, it’s not easy to see.
I wanted to write about this because most people assume they understand what others are feeling and don’t look further into things. I’ve recently noticed that when I have a breakdown, people around me try and comfort me.. but with the wrong words. When this happens I feel almost shocked that this person has no idea on what I’m actually having a breakdown about. The truth is, most of us forget that others can’t see in our minds. We feel our mental pain so much and it’s so obvious to us that we think that it must be visible to others. How can something so painful and huge go unnoticed? Yet, it does.
It’s such a simple and obvious concept that if you think something, people will not hear it. But it’s so easy to get caught up with that worry or that pain that we forget if we thought or spoke it.
Talking. That’s the one way of showing your pain. If you hit your toe, no one will know it hurts unless you say ‘I hit my toe, it really hurts’. Only then can people help you out. You could then describe your toe as ‘throbbing’ so others can better understand that pain you’re experiencing. It’s the same with mental pains. You have to talk to someone in order to make the pain visible. You have to talk about that pain otherwise others will never know about it and will not help you.
Of course, there are other ways to express your emotions or that mental pain. Many do it through drawing, music or writng… anything that suits you is good. I strongly believe that transferring the pain in your head into the outside world is like letting some steam out before the pressure becomes too high and explodes.
Whichever way you choose to do it, I really believe it will be beneficial. Not only will others help you, you will also be able to better help yourself. Often, I find, talking about a problem makes you revaluate it as you are thinking about it more consciously, rather than it being an underlying, repetitive thought that makes you anxious. Once revaluated, that problem can become less stressful and you can work to find a solution, again talking about each worry that that may bring.
You may feel like a burden. I certainly feet that way sometimes. You’re talking to someone about all your problems whilst they obviously have some to deal with themselves. You’re problems are too small. You’re being selfish, people have it worse, you shouldn’t be complaining.
All those thoughts are common but… these thoughts are common. That means that whoever you’re talking to, yes they will have problems of their own, but that’s why they will be willing to help. They themselves experience pains and will therefore, assuming they are nice people, want to help others in need, just because they know how hard it can be.
You shouldn’t feel like a burden to others to talk about your problems. Often you’ll find, others will have experienced similar things and they will feel relieved to finally open up about it as well.
If you think about it, humans are amazing animals. They, we, have figured out a way to use sounds and expressions to communicate and share our inner feelings. We are able to bring what’s in us, to the outside world. Simply our capability to do this, astonishes me and encourages me to keep on doing it. I hope it does the same for you.