Living With Mental Illness is Like Swimming With A Great White Shark Lurking Nearby

Recently, I have been waking up every morning and thinking, “Another day. Ho hum. Just another day,” while feelings of melancholy fill my heart and ache my soul. Although writing this reminds me that it is not just another day. It is more than another day and I am blessed to be in this day, blessed to be alive. I need to remind myself that every day is a precious gift and I need to find a way to celebrate it and find a way to celebrate me and love myself.

However, the truth is often times mental illness wins and is stubborn, shuts me out and obviously has a mind of its own. The reality of depression hits hard as I try to fight to keep my sanity before it wins and destroys once again as it has done so savagely in the past, before it overtakes what I have battled to win.

My PTSD triggered some depression and memories of regrets and mistakes I have made after mental illness struck. Besides the painful symptoms of mental illness I often must fight through the painful reminders of the destruction that mental illness caused in my life, the mistakes I made while I fought to survive a disease that was killing me from the inside out. I must fight how the stigma of mental illness reared its ugly head through the years in many subtle and blatant gruesome ways.

Countless times my brain was in so much distress that I was not living but was surviving, doing anything just to make it through another day. I made many mistakes along the way. and behaved in ways that I would “normally” not do. I felt like if I did not do this or that I could not go on. It was the only solution and it was better than the alternative of not making it.

Presently, I am battling through the destruction that living with mental illness for over two decades has caused. I am looking at how my life turned out because I had the misfortune of getting mental illness. I grieve for what life would have been for me and who I could have become.

I grieve for friends I would have had. Instead I do not have any friends. Not one. Again let me repeat, not one.

Part of the problem with that is that I am afraid to make friends and have friends because I really do not know how to after all these years living a mental illness life. I also fear getting hurt. Living a mental illness life caused me to be hurt so often and so deeply I cannot touch that pain again. It frightens me so intensely that I stay away from it.

Today I do not feel like I am likeable. Who could like someone who has lived through what I have and has done the things I did for survival or not. I am not a good person because of the pain I have lived through. No one wants to deal with what the truth is. No one wants to hear it. It is too much. It is too much for me. I have to battle through it and no one else needs to or deserves to listen to what I have endured for too long. The pain that a mental illness life caused is beyond what most people could even remotely comprehend, so they don’t. They don’t want to know that kind of pain.

I can pretend for a while, but after a while the memories resurface and I have to fight through them. I try not to live in the past but that is where I am today. I will stop visiting my past soon and will keep soul searching. I will get beyond my melancholy so I can enjoy the beauty of living again. I will work through it because I have no other choice.

I will work hard to be present today. I will live for today. I will appreciate that I survived and overcame more than I like to remember.

Today melancholy causes me to want to and need to be alone. I will bask in my solitude. As I fight through the darkness melancholy is causing, I will search for the flicker of light. I will let the sun shine in on my gray mind and heart.

Melancholy is an old friend I have known since I was a child. It’s familiarity sometimes brings a peaceful contentment, but the reality of sightings of the great white shark lurk nearby.

© 2020 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Photo by Alex Steyn on Unsplash


12 thoughts on “Living With Mental Illness is Like Swimming With A Great White Shark Lurking Nearby

  1. I can totally relate to what you’re going through. I have not one friend either, and I’m sure there are alot others who do not also. But I have a hard time making friends bc of my mental illness and my past. I only like to make friends who are just like me and can relate and understand what I’m going through or have gone through. And I like to keep my circle small. I still am holding onto something from my past and that is my abortion I got at age 18. Bc now I am so regretting it and hate myself bc at age 45 now I have no kids and can’t. I also have other situations besides the abortion that trigger my PTSD. Like you said, I’m fighting a battle I’ll never win. But we gotta hang in there, be strong and keep fighting.


    • Thank you so much for your reply. It helped me so greatly to know I am not alone. I’m sorry about what you are going through as well. You are right we have to keep fighting. We can’t do anything to change the past and must learn to love who we are today and realize everything combined to create who we are today. I am working on that. Some days are easier than others that is for sure. Today is better than yesterday. Thanks for your feedback. You helped me greatly. I appreciate you. Much love, Sue


  2. Thank you! By all means I had to “hear this”, this helps, because it is incredibly accurate and same as I feel, what I’ve been through and am going through at this very moment. Thank you for being here and being you, you give me hope xx take care


    • I read your words this morning and I have to tell you that you made my day. You touched my heart and made it happy. Honestly thank you. I guess I needed to hear your words and that I have helped someone else by my own words. We are here for each other. It is always so helpful to know we are not alone and to know people care. I appreciate you and I hope your days improve soon. My today is better than yesterday and that is a blessing. I hope you day is a good and each day improves. Much love, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you can hang in there until it passes, or even just until it eases slightly. Your words are so accurate and sum up everything I feel when I’m crashing so thank you for putting them out there! Especially so eloquently, usually when I try to articulate how I’m feeling it comes out as “Meeerrrhhhhhhgggghhhh!!”


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