25 years old and I’m a drain to society. I’m so lazy and I should just get a job right?
25 years old but I feel like I’ve been here longer. I feel like I’ve felt more than the average human being is meant to feel. 25 years old and I’m still alive.
Hi, my name is Danika Ransome and I’m mentally ill. I don’t work due to this and I’ve struggled with sticking to education. Also, I’ve been in therapy for just under a year now.
Let’s just take a minute to think about the fact that that’s under a year of help for over ten years worth of pain and not being able to understand a single thing about myself.
25 years old and I think I deserve the help. I put more energy and effort into my daily life than most people would even begin to imagine. I’m pretty certain that right now this is my full time job: learning to want to live.
I can’t give you an exact time scale of when I knew – I can’t give you an exact time scale of any of my life events because my memory has suffered due to trauma – but this is me doing my best.
I remember the playground specifically at primary school. It was never a happy place for me; every day I would sit on the steps to the toilets in that playground and cry.
I never knew why I was crying so when anyone asked I just screamed for them to go away.
But the thing I wanted the most at that point was for someone to stay.
I guess I always knew I was different. I didn’t quite fit in anywhere. I always felt like no matter where I was or who I was with I was looking in from the outside.
My teenage years were especially difficult; I felt completely alone, my friends didn’t feel like what real friends should feel like.
Real friends don’t make you feel worse, right?
I started having seizures when I was 15 years old and things got even worse. This is where I feel like everything began but I know it goes back further than this. I know I wasn’t coping way before this happened but at least this way, the physical signs would mean maybe I’d be taken seriously now?
The complete opposite happened, I was ridiculed, I was isolated, made fun of, accused of faking seizures by everyone.
I wanted to die.
I’d just about managed to scrape by at this point. I was surviving in silence.
For years I was in and out of hospitals; test after test, I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and non epileptic attack disorder.
I didn’t feel relieved by any of those diagnoses, there wasn’t a pill I could take to control any of it, there wasn’t a way out.
I wanted a way out.
I self-medicated with alcohol for a long time, I put myself in dangerous situations and I ended up in hospital also, I wanted a way out.
I was that misunderstood teenager, only if someone could see that I needed to be understood desperately.
There isn’t one particular traumatic event that happened in my life for this to happen; it was a multitude of events.
I’d go into more detail but there are some things I just can’t talk about outside the 4 safe walls of my therapist’s room, and why should we have to give every detail of our lives to prove our trauma to you.
It seems as though people will only accept mental illness when they get given a back story explaining why said person is in therapy or taking medication, etc.
We don’t owe anyone proof of our trauma.
I was recently diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder and complex PTSD alongside the anxiety and depression.
This is when I began to learn about myself, this is when puzzle pieces started slotting together.
I’m glad I kept surviving; I only wish it hadn’t been in silence.
You can end that silence with me, you can open a dialogue surrounding mental health and let people in your life know you are a safe person to talk to.
You can help us end the stigma!
Written by Danika Ransome (@my_mh_journey)