Mental Health – we all have our moments with it, no matter how strong we are, no matter where we come from, no matter what we deal with. Some days we just wake up and we struggle. There is no shame in that at all, most of us spend a lot of time being told to ‘get on with it’ or being told that what we are thinking is wrong. Let me tell you right now – your feelings are VALID – no matter how you feel. If you wake up one day and just feel like life is a struggle that is fine. If you wake up one day and thing “I just need to hide away” that is also ok.
I believe I have struggled with mental health all of my adult life, if not earlier than that. I did not get diagnosed with GAD or Depression until I was in my 30s and I spent most of that time struggling almost daily with the way I felt. I felt I had no support – not because people didn’t want to support me, but because people didn’t know how to handle me. The day I went to the Dr and he acknowledged I needed help I went back to the car and I cried, I cried because I was relieved that finally, FINALLY someone had listened to me and agreed I wasn’t quite alright.
I have gone through the motions of feeling ashamed, useless, weak.. but I now realise that it’s far stronger to get up every day and deal with issues you may have than it is weak. Mental health still has that stigma surrounding it that is all hush hush, let’s not talk about it and it will go away – that isn’t true. People that suffer need to stand up and speak and they need to be heard.
I do find some days a real struggle, I don’t want to get out of bed but I do, I don’t want to go home and deal with things, but I do. I struggle and sometimes I struggle alone, sometimes I struggle with the help of friends and some days now I don’t struggle much at all, but there is no rhyme or reason to when I struggle and when I don’t – it’s always there but some days I just deal with it better.
But you know what hurts – people throwing around insults like “you’re mental”, “you’re insane”, “wow you’re crazy” – I mean we all think it of people at times and will just blurt out “wow that person is batshit!” but you must NEVER use peoples mental health issues against them in an argument – it’s unfair and it’s not ok and quite frankly as humans we should know better. That isn’t to say at times we all mistakes and that is only human too, but if you hurt someone using their mental health against them you really should apologise and learn/grow from it.
Since my dad died I have kept a lot of my feelings in – I don’t think I have really grieved – I have been too busy trying to support everyone else and just get on with it without falling apart – it’s that feeling of if I break and fall I may never get back up and it scares me. But I’ve thrown myself into a few things – I got a personal trainer! (if he’s reading this – HI!) and I always scoffed at people that said exercise makes you feel better, but it’s true! He puts me through my paces and we have some banter which is nice – at the minute it’s all via Zoom but that works! I also took on c25k and managed to get to week 5 and run a whole 20 mins without stopping! I say run, it was more of a slow jog – but it was better than sitting there festering. I make sure I walk the dog daily (except those days he hides from the harness and I just go out alone) – I really find getting out in the fresh air clears my head and honestly some days I have walked around with my sunglasses on with tears in my eyes and that’s ok – it still helps to be outside in the fresh air.
It’s been a very tricky time for all of us, some more than others and nobodies issues are less important or more important – our issues are relative to us and nobody should be made to feel their issues aren’t important. I find quite often dealing with someone elses issues takes my mind off of mine – so I welcome people talking to me, my inbox is always open. I don’t often reach out to friends, not because I don’t care, but because I don’t want to be a bother.
We must talk, we must speak up, we must support one another and if we don’t understand we can at least strive to be as supportive as possible.
Another random ramble but I do feel strongly about this – mental health is very important and it’s time we started looking at people wanting help in the same way we would look at people breaking an arm and needing a dr, or grazing a knee and needing a plaster and a hug.