As a teen I often fantasized about running away. I felt that by leaving a town that I felt I was trapped in– I could also escape the prison that was my depression.
When I went away to College, I made new friends and was in a new place and although I could present myself in any way that I wanted it did nothing for the way that I felt.
Instead the new me that I presented to my new friends was quickly tired out and instead of feeling less alone the cell I was in was made more apparent because I was afraid of being found out.
For the first time I realized the prison door didn’t budge because I changed location… it just traveled with me.
I also realized something more about the prison walls; they were doing more than keeping me stuck in my depression they also became a comfort and a safe place to hide.
For months, I allowed people to visit me but didn’t allow them inside for fear of vulnerability.
I feared being judged because of the way that I felt and I was afraid to lose the new friendships that I made because of the reality of what I faced.
It may be 2018 but the stigma that hides behind mental illness is still all too real. That’s why it’s so important to be an understanding human being because you never know who is suffering.