A Letter To My Undiagnosed Mental Illness


I’m literally vibrating whilst writing this
Every nerve is Alive and it won’t stop or let me rest
I’m doodling whilst writing this I’m also editing a novel revising for an exam and listening
to music If it sound impossible and unsustainable it’s
because it probably is It’s hard for it to not feel like a slippery
slope When from the age of 5 everyone told you you
were gifted and talented From the age of 12 you were the same as everyone
again how long before regression begins? To be fair I am still functional
Too functional for a diagnosis it would seem Of course no teacher noticed
Because we teach them kids with poor mental health hate learning
We teach them kids with poor mental health are dumb and disruptive
Naturally the ones who get lost out the window in the deafening silence of the classroom
but still get their homework done on time are swept under the rug I don’t think I was ignored simply not noticed
I got attention praise pride from my teachers Every parents eveningbwas a glowing review We got a new headteacher when I was 10
I had a habit of wrapping my arm around my head whilst writing
So I could make silly shapes with my pen to keep me entertained
He told me off Assumed I was napping I suppose
My class teacher told me he hadn’t realised how amazing I am yet and since then I’ve struggled
to see it too I need a referral but I’m not ill enough
It’s not impacting my life enough for it to be worth the time
Take some therapy that only actually treats depression even though you aren’t depressed
Have some antidepressants that make people with other illnesses iller
Yes I can function and you can’t see that I am struggling
Everything is in on time because I have to do 3 things at once to stop my brain wandering
I’m getting decent grades and keeping up my extracurriculars because without them I’ll
crack This isn’t success this is a coping mechanism
I can’t give myself silence to breathe in it’s as toxic as the microbiotic cultures
I spent my summer working with in a desperate attempt to avoid it
Maybe they’re right though I am functional after all
Never mind that I cry if I’m waiting for my partner to be ready because the emptiness
of doing nothing for more than a minute eats me alive
Never mind that I can’t be alone in a building without the shadows creeping in and tearing
apart my skull I can still get good grades I’m functional
I can hold down a job I’m functional I’m going to the doctors soon
Maybe I’ll actually get a referral I’ll still be a graduate before I get a diagnosis
But for the first time in my life maybe I’ll be able to just stop and breathe

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