This week has been quite a struggle to say the least. Feeling stressed, down and not good enough is a headspace that I am all too familiar with, one I fight to avoid on an almost daily basis. The focus of my blogging is to help other people, that said I have found it is helping me too – Sharing my story and seeing it accepted by so many has a power to heal. I’m conscious that to help others I need to remain positive and strong but that’s hard on the days where I am fighting my own little battles, of which I’ve had a few this week. The whole point of this is to share my story openly and transparently… I suppose that comes with good days and bad.
I have been a little naughty recently and have missed a day of medication here and there. Not intentionally, just simply forgetting in the morning rush and in the evenings when all I can think about is sleep! When this happens, I often feel the dread piling up and slowly but surely I begin to drown in my own emotions. It has certainly happened this week and I do not advise (if you are on medication) to stop completely without your doctor’s advice and oversight, try and remember to be consistent with your intake and avoid the temptations to dodge (…I should read my own blog once in a while!).
This week I have been questioning whether or not my blogging is the right thing to do. I never have been one for drawing attention to myself, which is probably why I was able to hide my insecurities so well for so long. A byproduct of my bogging is increased time on social media – The thing that so often triggered my downward spirals in the first place was social media. I get so nervous when I post, I worry what other people think of me. The nervous energy can be both negative and positive, I often don’t know which way it will go but the quote I was looking at this week was, ”Don’t be ashamed of your story. Use it to inspire other people”, that brings me back to my focus and it will keep me moving forwards with my blog even on the days which aren’t quite going to plan. Trying to inspire others to know that they are not alone in their fight and that speaking out is a great thing to do is why I will continue my drive and I will help others and in turn I will help myself.
It is hard speaking out. It is hard to draw attention to the parts of you that you are so insecure about and it is hard opening up, knowing that a huge number of people simply won’t be that well placed to understand the message you are looking to convey. I know that I always rebound straight to the negative – That’s not my intention, and perhaps just the way I am wired. It takes a little more conscious effort for me to preach the positivity I am working hard to promote (but I’ll be the first to admit it!). I am very aware that I do not want these thoughts to affect my direction, I will keep moving forwards one day and one step at a time and I know that one day (maybe even many days), I will look back on all of my work and be so proud of the difference I have made to my life and the lives of others.
One in four people suffer with an issue related to mental health at some stage in their life. It is more common than the average person understands and the only thing stopping you getting the help you need and deserve is your own perspective on what mental health really is. There are affordable insurance options out there to offer some financial longevity to your recovery, some of you may be fortunate enough to have an employer with health benefits to support!
The thing we find scary is the stigma that surrounds mental health. The part we shouldn’t accept, is that this stigma only exists because of us, human’s, lacking the knowledge and understanding about what mental health really is and the stereotypes that have been associated with mental health through the media in times past couldn’t be anymore wrong. You never know who suffers with mental health, it’s not always visible from the outside and the person standing next to you smiling could be the one struggling the most (remember: be kind, always). You get pretty good at hiding it, when you’re practicing every day.
Anxiety has been prominent in my life for many years now, affecting not just me but other members of my family. Growing up I watched the people I love fight their battle and come out stronger than ever, I know that is what I will do too (and believe me, you can as well!). Mental health is so real, it affects everyone in some way, shape or form and I believe that one person’s mental health illness is as valid as the next persons, regardless of whatever stigma comes with it. It is not something that we choose to live with but it certainly shouldn’t be the thing that defines who we are, or something that holds us back from achieving the things we want to do in our life. We should all be aware that mental health issues are just as common as the other more readily accepted health issues and although it may not have the physical component of a broken bone, it still affects the body in an equally inhibiting fashion.
When I was first diagnosed and for many years afterwards, I was so embarrassed about admitting or discussing about my troubles. I thought that speaking out and championing what I believed in would lead some to a perspective of an attention craving keyboard warrior! But really, who are we to judge how someone deals with something? Mental health should never be and is not an embarrassing thing to speak about (you wouldn’t be embarrassed talking about your broken bone now… would you?!).
We as humans are the ones responsible for changing and removing the stigma that surrounds mental health and together, we can begin to build a more truthful understanding that it is ok not to be okay. It is okay to speak out about our problems and we have absolutely no reason to be ashamed.
Everyone’s anxiety is different and it might affect you in a different way to me, but I truly hope that you can find some relevance in my words and use them to inspire you to be a more positive/happy/content person in knowing you are not alone in this fight. Be confident (you can be) and do not be embarrassed to talk about it.
“Mental illness is a part of my life. I don’t believe that I have anything to be ashamed of and anyone who believes otherwise is the one who does.”