What I Want You to Know
is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to
tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion
to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a
story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is
Tina Szymczak.

I want you to know . . . I have struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life.
I want you to know . . . As a teenager I was hospitalized 11 times and one of the last notes in my medical file from that time indicates my prognosis was “poor”.
I want you to know . . . that through my 20’s we experienced several life stressors including infertility but I was able to stay healthy.
I want you to know . . . when I don’t show up to group events it is because my anxiety has gotten the better of me and I can’t face everyone.
I want you to know . . . I feel anxious making phone calls, even to close friends and family.
I want you to know . . . my husband knew these things about me and he still married me – I love him even more for this.
I want you to know . . . no matter how good my life is there are still times where I feel overwhelmingly sad and despondent.
I want you to know . . . some days I can’t make it out of bed.
I want you to know . . . I love my family fiercely and I hate that I worry and hurt them when I have to be hospitalized.
I want you to know . . . I know my family loves me. When I am at my worst I believe that everyone would be much better off without me.
I want you to know . . . I am a champion at hiding my pain. I can be contemplating suicide while I smile at you as you tell me a story. My pain is so severe, I keep it stuffed deep inside of me.
I want you to know . . . when I become deeply depressed there is very little my family or friends can do for me aside from being supportive and understanding.
I want you to know . . . I have made attempts at taking my life but thankfully it either never works or people find me and thwart my attempt. When I am feeling myself I am very thankful for these people and their actions.
I want you to know . . . the last time I went into hospital I ended up staying for two months. I can’t even begin to explain that experience though at some point I will try.
I want you to know . . . I see a Psychologist a couple of times a month and a Psychiatrist once a month. This is necessary to keep me healthy and out of the hospital.
I want you to know . . . I take medications to try to keep me even keeled.
I want you to know . . . I desperately want to be happy, I just don’t always know how.
I want you to know . . . I worry about being so candid but I have a stronger need to raise awareness and help others than to keep my story as a dirty little secret.