A photo series depicting what mental illness looks and feels like on the inside. Mental illness is faceless. You can never realize what a person is going through with just a look on their face. Its everything and nothing inside at the same time. It’s the feeling of hollowness inside.
In a society where mental illness is treated as a stigma, this was a small effort to explain what it feels like living with mental illness.
INSIDE OUT It makes you feel like you are watching your world crumble into ruins and there is truly nothing you can do about it. . . . Your mind races, your thoughts get worse and soon you lose control, just like before. You feel like a mess, you feel like a monster and you feel like it won’t ever get better. The words you wish you could say are right there on your tongue but no matter how you phrase them in your head they don’t seem right. The only words you can muster are “I’m sorry,” because they’re the only words your brain can find. It makes you feel like you are watching your world crumble into ruins and there is truly nothing you can do about it. . . .
COMFORT IN THE PANIC Wish that I could slow things down I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic And I drive myself crazy Thinking everything’s about me Yeah, I drive myself crazy ‘Cause I can’t escape the gravity . . -Heavy (Linkin Park)
ALL INSIDE YOUR HEAD It’s all in your head”, they say. “Yes, it is, it always is and it is not going away”, I cried. . . . . I wish I could tell you how I feel or show you what goes on in my head sometimes, but I fear that you just won’t understand; that you’ll say I should just “be happy,” “quit worrying,” and “don’t think negatively.” But it’s not that simple. I want you to know that finding balance while I’m struggling with mental illness is the greatest challenge in my life, but despite those obstacles, you would never suspect I was struggling based on the way I present myself.
DRINKING DEPRESSION DOWN . She drank another bottle down. “I wonder if it’ll ever go away. 8 years and still counting. Is it real? Is it made-up thought? Why am I doing this? What am I doing? Is it an escape? Is it a remedy?” she mumbled the words sitting right in front of me. “Stop! Just stop!” she shouted. “Okay, I’m sorry. Did I offend you? I’m sorry.” “No, it’s not you. It’s my mind I need to shut down I need some peace. I need to sleep. I’m just too tired of it all” I look at another empty bottle. This is her fifth already. “I need another one. Maybe it’ll help me sleep. Maybe it’ll give my thoughts a break” she said while stumbling towards the table to get another bottle. She pours in more. She drinks. She pours in more and drinks more till her body just gives up. She wakes up next day, forgetting the previous night and it’s back to the same old routine. “Are you alright?” I asked. “Yeah! I’m good. It’s all good. As she glared at me with the hollow smile. “If only it were that easy to let it go…” she thought to herself while opening another bottle the next day.