Dear Eating Disorder – by Rosie

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: Rosie Elsom

Dear Eating Disorder -  by Rosie | Letters to the MindI hate you for taking over me
and making me believe this is how I want to be.
Why do I stay with you when all you do is put me down?
make me starve ’til I fit into the smallest gown,
with the loss of each gram I’m closer to my goal,
with your grip tightening over my dark soul.
Filled with fear at every bite I take,
your plan, my plan, would be ruined by cake.
Counting calories, and fearing how much I weigh
I am beginning to feel like you are here to stay.
My reflection has become something I fear,
I dread the time I have to look in the mirror.
The pain in my stomach never goes away,
it grumbles with hunger while in bed I lay.
You tell me you are my only true friend
and make me fear the day this relationship must end,
but I know your presence is here for a while,
so I hide this relationship behind a smile.
Dear eating disorder I know you are wrong,
but how can you make me feel this strong?

© Rosie Elsom 2016


About the author:

My name is Rosie, I am 18 years old and from the UK. I suffer from a variety of mental illnesses however this poem is focused particularly on my anorexia which I have suffered with for many years and has led me to numerous inpatient admissions. During my lows, my highs and my admissions, I have found poetry a really positive and productive thing and it has helped me to make sense of some of the chaos in my head.

My favorite quote is one from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and it is:

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 

I like this quote because sometimes mental illness’ can make you feel trapped but it is important to remember you have the power, potential and the ability to be free.

Blog: Positiviteablog

Read the original post: To my eating disorder (poem)

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Dear Anxiety – by Jenny Marie

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: Jenny Marie

Ian Schneider

Dear Anxiety,

When I first met you, I was just a child. You terrorized me with panic attacks and wouldn’t leave me alone. It was bad enough you entered my life. It was much worse when you visited my nine year old daughter. Picking on children. How dare you!

I think you got pleasure out of watching, as you overwhelmed us with the horrifying symptoms of panic.

Did you think it was funny to see our hands tremble and our bodies sweat, drenched in fear?

Did you get enjoyment out of making our hearts beat so hard and fast, it felt like they’d jump out of our chests?

Were you pleased when my doctor told me I had agoraphobia?

Did you laugh when I had to pull over to the side of the road because my vision was blacking out?

You probably thought it was hilarious when I nearly had to run out of a store because I couldn’t stop my racing heart and dizziness. Didn’t you?

Were you happy when my daughter had to miss three weeks of fourth grade because she was petrified she’d have a panic attack?

Did you want her friends to know how ashamed she was to be different?

Was it fun to see my little girl cry when she couldn’t make herself walk into the classroom, in fear of you?

What about when you saw me cry because I knew how terrified my daughter was?

You always wanted to be in control. And you were.

But not anymore!

I’m sure you were unhappy when I reached out for medical help, after twenty years of dealing with you.

I bet you were mad when I recognized my daughter’s symptoms and took her to the doctor.

I’m sure you weren’t thrilled when our medication worked. I wasn’t afraid to drive anymore. Or go to the grocery store, the mall, or the movies. My little girl went back to school. She was able to play basketball, be with her friends, and even go to sleepovers.

We learned how to get rid of you. Our doctors helped us develop ways to control you. We’re healthy and happy now. Our lives are full and productive.

We’re braver than you give us credit for.

Anxiety, thank you for empowering us.

We know we’re strong.

If we fought you off, we can do anything.

Sincerely, Jenny Marie

© Jenny Marie 2015


About the author:

My name is Jenny Marie. I’m writing to Anxiety.

I’ve had panic attacks since I was a child. I didn’t reach out for medical help until my early 30s. I was diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia. I truly thought I was alone, and that no one else experienced the same scary symptoms that I did. I soon realized there are millions of others with anxiety. My daughter started showing signs of panic attacks when she was nine years old. She’s twenty now, and both of us are nearly panic free. I hope to motivate others who are dealing with anxiety and mental illness.

Blog: Peace from Panic

Facebook: Peace from Panic

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Pooh (A. A. Milne)

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The wonderful photograph was taken by Ian Schneider and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

Dear Anxiety – by B.G.

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: B.G.

Dear Anxiety | Letters to the Mind

 

Dear Anxiety,

I shouldn’t even be spending my time, energy, and talent on you right now but it’s time we get something straight. You’ve been trying your hardest for a while now to drag me down, but as you can see, I’m not giving up. I’m kind, talented, loving, and worth a lot more than to be controlled by you. I want to be a writer, I want to help people, and I don’t want to be afraid to live my life. You’ve stopped me from enjoying doing certain things and even stopped me from doing things altogether, but NO MORE! I know that I won’t get cured overnight, but that’s not going to stop me from proving to myself that I’m stronger than you. Because you know what? I AM!

I’ve accomplished so much in my life, even with you trying to stop me. In high school, when you tried to get to me, I pulled through. I graduated and then I went to college. You followed me there, but I still didn’t give in. I graduated. Hell, I made the Dean’s list several times. You may have caused me to take some online classes instead of going on campus at times, BUT I GOT THROUGH IT!

My life is too important to be squandered away by you. I’ve been working harder, working stronger and I’m going to defeat you! I’ve already shown myself my strength and I’m not going to back down!

You’ve tried to make me think that I’m weak and even though I’ve felt like I was, I know better. You’re a liar and you get a kick out of making people miserable, but I don’t get a kick out of it and I’m not enjoying it. So I’m going to keep showing myself that I’m stronger than you and I’m not going to let you continue to control my life. I’ve seen the damage you can do, to me and to others. However, we’re stronger than you think and we’re tired. We’re tired of you trying to take over, tired of missing out on opportunities, tired of YOU. So don’t think that we’re going to let you win, because we’re stronger. MUCH STRONGER! We’re going to continue to practice on a consistent basis, working in small steps until we reach our goal: to be free of your restraints. Whether or not you’re ready to let go of us, we’re ready to let go of you! -B.G.

About the author:

My name is B.G. and I have been struggling with anxiety for several years. I created my blog Getting Through Anxiety in order to help both myself and others who deal with similar issues. I love to write, read, and watch TV. In college I majored in English and minored in writing. I also have written some posts for The Seeds 4 Life and Battle of Mind. I hope to one day be a fiction author.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison

© B.G. 2015

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Dear Depression – by Matt

via Letters to the Mind blog project
Contributing Author: Matt

Dear Depression | Letters to the Mind

 

Wherever I go, you’re not far behind
You are the shadow cast over my mind
My face is fixed, no twitch no blink
I show no emotion, as I come back from the brink
It took me time to see through your lies
To see the truth hidden in your eyes.

I’ve made some mistakes, there’s no denying
If I claimed anything else, I’d only be lying
I’ve lived my life in black and white
There was no colour, there was no light
I can’t see where I’m going, but I know where I’ve been
I don’t want to return there and see what I’ve once seen.

© Matt McKeen 2015


M_McKeen
About the author:

My name is Matt, and I started this blog nearly two years ago now. It’s been a release from the stresses of everyday life ever since (though I’ve not always written as often as I’d like!). I suffer from both anxiety and depression, but through writing I have found comfort and friends, many of whom have their own struggles with the same illnesses. It’s a constant reminder that we are not alone and to speak out. In silence we suffer.

Blog: The Pebble in my Shoe

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali

 

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I Pledge to Change the World!

Attention: Mental Health Awareness lime green whistle
Photo by Steven Depolo

There is a stigma attached to my life, it is called Bipolar Disorder. My pledge is about educating those around me and beyond me. Stigma comes from fear. My fear of how you’ll respond when I tell you and your fear that I will suddenly go postal on you.

I won’t. You are safe. This is my problem, not yours. This impacts my family, not yours. You are safe. Sit down and talk with me, ask me questions about it. I will not bite. I am happy to share because once you know me and understand me you will feel better and so will I. I am making the world a more understanding place one person at a time.

I have joined forces with Jade Moore to create the mental health blog, Letters to the Mind, where we invite YOU to write to your mental illness. You will grow from the exercise and you will teach by leaving your letters, poems, and stories behind for others to consume, relate to, and learn from.

We want you to have a dialog with your illness. We want you to grow and flourish and be all that is possible. We want you to help educate others. We want your creative voices to join us in changing the world!

Do you live with someone who is diagnosed with a mental illness? Please, join us. Your viewpoint is just as weighty as ours.

Jade writes on the Contribution page:

There are no restrictions as to what you write or in what form you write in, and no issue is excluded. This is your piece of writing, and it is for you to make it whatever you want it to be, so there is no wrong way to do this, but here are some suggestions of forms you might like to write in:

A letter
A poem
A short essay/blog post
A script-like conversation (between you and your issue)
A short story/flash fiction (involving you both as characters)
A piece of art – see the ‘Art’ page for more information.

Like I said, you are not restricted to these forms and I encourage you to use your imagination, but I put emphasis on the fact that the act of writing your piece should (I hope!) act as a coping method and a technique that will help you to deal with your mental health and to feel better and think differently about it.

Get out from #behindthedisguise!  Click here to go to the How to Contribute page of Letters to the Mind blog project.