This post is part of my series for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018! The series includes articles, poems, and photo essays by many guest authors about mental health and related issues. For more information, click here!
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me I’m ‘strong.’ Almost regardless of the context, I can feel anger bubbling up inside me; my skin starts to itch because I’m trying so hard not to get mad at them.
Because I’m not strong, and those are empty words.
I’m not strong because I’ve ‘made it this far.’ I’m not brave for telling my story. I’m not strong (or brave) for fighting.
I’m just stubborn and mad. I had mental illness thrown at me when I was barely 18 and there were only two options: fight or give up. It wasn’t strength that made me fight, and actually, I’ve given up a lot too. For four years, I’ve fought tooth and nail when I can, but more often than not, I’ve given up.