Psyche is powered by Vocal creators. You support Christina Scanlon by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Mental Illness Is a Prison

Even the strongest people can crumble under its grip.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not okay. Every thought that runs through my head is plagued by thoughts of just ending my life. I have periods when I’m completely fine, and then other times I enter this black hole of sadness with no way out. I feel nothing. Every bad decision, every single interaction I’ve had is corrupted into sadness. It’s a vicious cycle with no end.

I go to therapy every other week to air out my frustrations and find solutions to silencing the negative voices in my head; sometimes it works, sometimes it makes it worse. I know I’m not a bad person, I have flaws like everyone else; problems like everyone else. Here’s the thing about mental illness: It’s unpredictable. You never know how you’re going to feel that day—and add Depression along with Anxiety to the mix—it’s your own personal hell.

Lately, I’ve been feeling really depressed—worthless, unloved. I always hear people complain about going to work and making money to pay their rent, and it makes me incredibly sad because I can’t work. The wiring in my head is all screwed up, and even thinking about filling out a job application is prone to give me an anxiety attack. I’m afraid to leave my house. I’ve become a hermit. Granted, I do leave the house when errands need to be done, that’s the only time the anxiety doesn’t get the best of me, because I have a mission, a purpose: To make sure I have essentials needed for everyday living. Other times, I tend to hide in my house from the outside world, my brain has convinced me that I’ll come to harm psychologically somehow if I dare step outside of my safe apartment.

I recently went out to a Walmart I used to work at back in 2012. It took everything in me not to run out screaming. It was a very toxic work environment that left a very negative, lasting impression upon my psyche. A part of my brain thinks there is good in everyone I come across. This is not the case with this place. It gave me severe PTSD that I sometimes have nightmares about. The whole three months I worked there, I had to endure nasty attitudes from not only customers, but my coworkers. I’m a naturally nice person, but this whole job—and the environment this job resided—drained me. I lost the will to come to work, and my depression got worse. The negativity got into my head, adding fuel to the fire.

As mentioned, the residing thoughts over the past three weeks made me face my demons. A few times, I actually contemplated suicide, but there’s a little voice somewhere within my brain that shuts that thought down completely and I’m fine. Something keeps telling me everything is going to be okay. I know that I’m a strong person, but when you’re plagued with memories and thoughts of the past, it tends to mess with you psychologically. I can’t count how many regrets, bad decisions, failed friendships come to me in a flashback, making me a complete mess. I just want the bad memories to stop. I just want to forget, but forgetting is the problem. It doesn’t solve anything. It just puts it on the back burner to be relived later on. It’s a countless loop.

Writing helps me significantly. It lets me release all the stress I’ve been feeling. It helps me to forget for even a time. It’s as if I’m letting go of what’s bothering me, even for a little bit. I consider it a part of therapy that helps me heal and let me know that I’ll be okay.

Now Reading
Mental Illness Is a Prison
Read Next
I'm Really Not Okay