| Elizabeth Hawksworth, on The Blog, Huffpost Living, Canada
The first thing I wish you knew is that I don’t choose to be like this. Whether it’s my brain chemicals that are different than yours, or a situation I’ve experienced (and for me it has been both), I don’t make a choice to have mental illness any more than a cancer sufferer chooses to have cancer. My symptoms are simply different, and they are ruled by my brain, which makes it seem like I can control them. I wish you knew what a struggle it was sometimes to act normal, to keep smiling, to pretend that I’m just like everyone else. In reality, every nerve ending is buzzing, my legs are almost imperceptibly shaking, and my heart is beating a million miles a minute while I try to control the compulsions and obsessions in my brain. In reality, I would like to be safely in bed, away from the scary things in the world, in the cocoon of my apartment, ignoring everyone.