Misconceptions

I have actually been inspired to write this after a) reading a this post http://annapob91.blog.com/2013/08/10/misconceptions/, written by my friend Anna, and b) receiving a comment at work from a good work colleague of mine.
It was just the two of us working on the shop floor a few days ago, and we were discussing spending habits. Being girls we both spend money on fashion but we established that I buy a few expensive pieces, while she buys more less expensive items. This progressed into discussing sizes and then my size and mental health. At my lowest weight, I was a tiny size (which doesn’t need to be mentioned). I only knew I was that size because scales and tape measures were my best friends.
However, I never wore that size, I covered up. I wore the size that I wear now. I didn’t want people knowing how tiny I’d become or see protruding bones. I didn’t welcome comments about weight loss but I always joined in discussions about the latest chocolate bar we were told to promote. I did everything I could to appear normal.
So, the comment ‘But you were always mentally with it. You didn’t act crazy’ wasn’t exactly a shock to hear the other day, but it did trigger alarm bells in my mind. Most people suffering with a mental illness don’t look or act crazy. Like me, we go to great lengths to hide it due to a variety of reasons.
I explained to my friend, that I STILL have a mental illness despite gaining a stone. I know I don’t look ill. I don’t have an emaciated body, drawn out eyes or pale skin any more. And you know what, I never wanted those either!
A mental illness is exactly that. A disease of the mind. Something neither you or I can see from up close or afar. 1 in 4 of us suffer with a mental illness, so chances are you know someone. And I bet you now, they don’t ‘look’ crazy either.