“You don’t look like someone with mental health issues”, he said. I stared at the screen for a moment, slightly lost in those words. “What do you mean by that?” I asked. “Well, you look pretty, you look cheerful, you look confident. How can you be ‘one of them’? .
How does one look like they’ve been battling?
Our scars of this battle aren’t visible on our skin. We don’t have blackened-blue eyes, neither a limping limb or scars on faces.
We have puffy eyes layered with concealer and mascara. Scarlet painted lips to give some hue to the dull grey skin. Some nail imprints on our palms from the fists we held too tight. Some of us do carry the scar on the skin but we do not flaunt it like the warriors do. Because these scars weren’t caused while saving someone’s life. Rather these were formed while trying to take our own. We hide those scars under the long sleeves. We’re really good at hiding it because afterall, who likes broken damaged people around.
So tell me how do you expect someone to look like when they’re battling their inner demons? Do you expect an expression-less face sulking on the bar counter faded in the smoke or a pair of puffy red eyes and scarred wrists? Do you expect a careless person or an under confident who’s eating away his words? Tell me what a mental health warrior is supposed to look like and I’ll paint that picture for them to see. I’ll ask them to mimic that look because unless they don’t look troubled, no one is going to believe, no one is going to help and they’ll be constantly mocked for faking it, taunted for making it up.
Look at this face and tell me what you see. Can you look at those lips and the smile and tell what the person is feeling? Look into those dark dead eyes and tell me is this one broken? I give you the empty faceless canvas. Paint it and tell me what they’re supposed to look like.
Read Story at TheMightySite: To the Person Who Expected My Mental Illness to Be Visible https://themighty.com/2020/05/response-to-mental-illness-visible/