You know what having a mental disability is?
It’s never asking for accommodations you know you desperately need because you’ve been taught that you don’t deserve them.
It’s being afraid to say you can’t do something or tell someone that you need help because you know they’re just going to guilt you about how they thought you were “stronger than that” or “why can’t you get over it.”
It’s the fact that being seen as disabled is mutually exclusive from being seen as “functioning,” and if for one second you look like one, then obviously you can’t be the other.
It’s the fact that “functioning” for you is held up to the exact same standards as everyone else who isn’t disabled, and functioning any less than “highly” (perfectly) means you’re worthless and can’t be trusted to do anything right or well.
It’s the people who love you never, ever being able to grasp the fact that “irrational” or “all in your head” doesn’t change the fact that you experience what you experience and it fucking hurts.
It’s people telling you that you need to smile more, or speak up, or try harder because “everyone has bad days.”
It’s people saying things like “well at least you can walk” because physical disability is seen as more valid and real than your disability.
It’s also, at the same time, nobody saying you’re “brave” or “inspiring” for managing to do things outside of your limitations.
It’s being told you’re horribly selfish for being the way you are, and being expected to change that and never fight with it ever again.
It’s people you love honestly telling you that they’ve suffered too because of you, and it’s so difficult to deal with you, and you should be grateful they put up with it.
It’s being eyed in the hallway because you’ve been labeled “dangerous” even if you haven’t actually hurt anyone.
It’s being told you’re just “doing it for the attention,” and being told that needing attention is bad.
It’s being told in order to be good or valued that you need to somehow magically make yourself all better.
It’s relatives asking all the time if you’re “still” taking medication.
It’s people listening to neurotypical people more than they listen to you because everything you say is automatically discredited because you’re insane, or broken, or some other bullshit excuse for ignoring you.
It’s being told that it is impossible for you to know what’s best for you.
It’s never getting a “get well soon” card when you’re being treated because no one expects you to “get well,” or thinks there’s anything for you to get well from.
It’s having to repeatedly explain that there’s only so much you can do, and to please not push you, but no one listens.
It’s being reminded every day of your life that you are a weak, horrible, diseased thing, and that first and foremost your kind should be eradicated from the genome instead of treated.
It’s fighting with your insurance repeatedly over whether or not your condition is “legitimate” enough to be covered.
It’s hating yourself, and feeling like a burden, and being incredibly lonely, and being marginalized because there’s something wrong with you.
It’s looking in the media and seeing 9 out of 10 portrayals of someone with your condition being a manic, screaming, uncontrollable lunatic; or a drooling, childlike, oblivious dullard; or any combination thereof. (What I’m saying is, negatively stereotyped all to hell. And if they’re not a bloodthirsty villain, they’re a plot bus.)
It’s probably having multiple slurs against yourself solidly ingrained in your own vocabulary.
It’s having hordes of people question or genuinely outright not believe your disability even exists.
It’s your employer or school never accepting your sick days because you aren’t really “sick.”
It’s syrupy fountains of superficial pity being poured over you whenever it’s convenient.
It’s having your condition romanticized and glorified to the point where everyone is surprised and disappointed to find out that in real life it’s ugly, and messy, and makes you absolutely miserable.
It’s getting fired for all of the above, even if you’ve never made a mistake any worse than your abled coworkers.
It’s wondering every fucking day what you did to deserve this.
That’s what it’s like.