Stop telling me I’m ‘brave’

**This post was originally written on May 26th, I have not been able to finish it until now. So the first half of the post will be what I originally wrote and then I will make a separate section for my current thoughts**

So. Yesterday was a very hard day. I upped the TMS % and I actually did some head-on trauma stuff (which is in the last post I made). Today I upped the % again, I’m at 85% (aim is 120%) and I did a touch more on my trauma but not too much as it’s Friday and my shrink isn’t here on the weekend.

I only just shared the previous post on my personal Facebook account, took a bit of psyching myself up to do it, but I wanted to. For a variety of reasons. Which I can’t really explain right now, my head is a bit weird.

I do want to make sure one particular person knows that I love her and am here for her always, Athena my Warrior Queen, you are stuck with me! 😋

So yes. After talking to people over the years about my illness and trauma history, and even my current treatment, I keep getting the same themes from people: ‘you’re so brave/strong/courageous/etc’.

I appreciate the sentiment, that it is hard to recover from any illness and speaking about recovery is not as common as we as a people would like. I am not the first, nor the last person to ever suffer from a mental illness or attempt to recover from one. I am not the only person who has ever spoken openly about it, but sadly going by a rough estimate of how many people suffer from some form of mental illness in their lives, the people who talk about it are still in the minority.

I’m not the first. I’m not the last.

Telling me I’m brave/strong etc may seem like the right thing to say to someone battling for their lives, it may seem like a compliment, and it’s what everyone says to everyone who is unwell enough to need treatment (cancer also springs to mind).

Okay so this is now me, awhile later. I’m further down my treatment “schedule” and I’ve had more posts on how I’m going, and I’ve had no posts as well.


Do not tell me I am brave.

memiddayfifthjuly5th July, 2017

And again, this is being written later, it has been sitting in “drafts” for so long.

Don’t tell me I am brave.
Don’t tell me I am special.
Don’t tell me I should be proud of myself.
Don’t tell me I am a good person.

Because even though all those are meant well and with good intentions and well wishes, they are no competition to the tirade of words and phrases in my head. The constant words that tell me I am not enough.

Those words even enter my dreams. This morning Mr Hippo was leaving for work, he sai goodbye and told me he loves me. But at first, it wasn’t him. The first words, were not his. The first words, while part of my dreams [cough, nightmares] were not his. And they scared me. Scared me enough, to start that tape in my head, that tape that tells me I am not enough/I am bad/I am wrong/There is something bad in me/There is something evil in me/I need to be kept away/I am bad/I am a burden, and to not leave the house again.

In the dream-mare, the words are not real and never spoken to me, but the reason for them and the reason they were in my head at all, is real.

I am not brave.
I am a coward.



2 thoughts on “Stop telling me I’m ‘brave’

  1. I too struggle with the “positive” and “praising” words I struggle most especially with the “but you’re so strong,” comment. I physically rebel against it. My stomach drops, my chest hurst, my throat closes as the voice inside me screams “UNWORTHY, WEAK, BROKEN, NOT GOOD ENOUGH, WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.” It is like I shut down and I dare not speak against the positive people for fear of disappointing them. I retreat back inside myself . A wall of silence between me and them.


    1. It’s hard, when you have had years of being told that you aren’t ‘enough’ or there is ‘something wrong with you’, whether it was an external person or your own mind, it’s hard to then accept the positives.


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