If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having mental health issues, it’s that communication is key. Take it from someone who knows, I bottled things up or tried to deal with them on my own for a lot longer than I should have.
The process of opening yourself up to another person is a complex one, there is always that fear of rejection or disbelief. There is also the realisation that once you have decided to speak, people may choose not to listen and believe me, there is nothing worse than not being heard.
It took me a long time to realise that my internal turmoil was not visible on the outside and I became accustomed to being referred to as quirky or weird. Oddly enough, as the years passed I became quite proud of those two monikers, it meant I was an individual.
Looking back, I think I expected people to instantly recognise what my flaws were and make allowances for them, the problem was, I needed to back up the expectation with explanation, which was something I never did. Instead, I wore people out with my complex thought processes bourne from a lifetimes lack of self confidence.
Never be afraid to talk, and to keep talking until someone listens. We don’t even have to open our mouths, we can also use our fingers to weave their magic via pen, notebook or keyboard. Its therapeutic. I’ve found that noting my words down, be that in a journal or online, helps me to process the particular issue I’m facing. It might not always provide a solution, and that’s ok, because sometimes all that is needed is a good dose of reality.
I’m better at voicing my feelings, but I’m not quite adept at it yet. I still tend to back away if challenged and I often get frustrated when the person who I am voicing my concerns to either interprets it as a string of excuses or chalks it down to my anxiety.
One thing is for sure though, I will keep talking, it’s taken me so long to get to this point. I can’t stop now.
As Mandy Hale once said, ‘Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical person that you are.’