Know That You Are Never Alone: Overcoming Mental Illnesses

Know That You Are Never Alone

Know That You Are Never Alone

Know That You Are Never Alone With Any Obstacle

In yesterday’s post, Overcoming An Eating Disorder In My Mid-20’s, I talked about my struggle with an eating disorder. For five years it not only consumed my actions, but it also consumed my thoughts. See, I have made many mistakes and errors in my life to the point where I lose count of them after just an hour of being awake. But through every instance and error that I have made, I have always had the support from my family. Without my family, I honestly do not know where I would be. I didn’t post my story and put myself on blast yesterday for any other reason than to help people. I posted my story for you to know that you are never alone.

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders… These were the largest struggles that I have faced in life. To be completely honest, there were plenty of times when I never thought that I would be “normal” again. The truth is that I will never be normal again. The mental illnesses that I have endured throughout my life will always be apart of me. When I turn 25 on Friday, when I turn 45, or when I turn 85, these illnesses will have forever changed life.

Not only will they forever change my life, but they will also forever change my purpose. See, before, during, and for a period after surviving my mental illnesses, I wondered what my purpose was in life. After 25 years of life, I think I have found it. My purpose in life is not to just live for me, but my purpose is to help those who need it the most. For some reason, God gave me the strength to overcome several illnesses. Now, it is my purpose to provide others with a sense of hope so that they too can overcome their own illnesses.

With that said, I am done hiding. I am done hiding from shame, embarrassment, and I am done hiding from the fear of being judged. I am not a loser, a wimp, or weak. What I really am, is a survivor. If you want to make fun of me for having an eating disorder or for being a depressed little child, I am okay with that. Please, the comment box is right below. I can tolerate any ignorance that is thrown my way. What I can’t tolerate is sitting back and doing nothing to help others.

We need to realize that no matter how little we feel or how alone we might feel, we never will be. There are always going to be people out there that have overcome similar obstacles. There are always going to be people out there that are willing to shed their light onto your darkness. Sometimes, the only thing that we have to do is to ask for the help. Trust me, I wish I would have a lot sooner.

Any survivor or person who is currently seeking help for a mental illness can and will attest to what I am about to say. The best way to survive a mental illness is not by bottling it up, not by any medication, and not by exercising, or not by beating yourself up. The best way to survive a mental illness is by talking to someone and being open about your emotions. There are always going to be people who have had similar experiences and illness in life, and there are always going to be people who want to help you. At least I know that I do.  

I tried to fight my own battles for five years. Sure people knew about them after some time, but I didn’t make them public, because I didn’t want any help. I felt that I had to prove my toughness to compensate for the fact that I was suffering from an eating disorder. I mean let’s face it, men don’t have eating disorders, right? Wrong. We all have our own issues, but when you know that you are never alone and when you reach out for help, life truly becomes fun again.

I hope by me talking about my eating disorder that you realize that you are never alone. No matter how dark the times might be, know that at least I will always be here for you. So stand with me. Not in 30 minutes, not tomorrow, not in a week, right now. The resources, support, and the opportunities to overcome are endless. You just have to seek and believe. Together, we can impact the lives of everyone who is suffering, and we can make a difference. No matter what, know that you are never alone in any battle.

Michael Bonnell

7/28/2018

 

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