Mind Your Mental Health

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I seem to have been talking a lot about mental health lately. Believe it or not, this makes me very happy. What once could have been seen as a taboo subject is now becoming something that people openly share, and I like the fact that it is something my friends and work family decide to share with me.

I am not alone, and neither are you.

I used to feel like I was alone. I used to feel I was different from other people. My inability to process my thoughts and feelings left me confused and sometimes scared. I couldn’t understand why small bumps in life often felt like mountains and worries could not be quietened with rational thoughts.

I am not permanently damaged. I am flawed.

There is nothing wrong with me, I am just a little bit different. My outlook on life is often more black than white, but I know the light in the darkness exists, and I never lose sight of that. I am accepting of the fact that anxiety and worry will always be a part of who I am. The little quirks I have, like counting as I cut vegetables, checking and rechecking doors are locked and needing space and room to breathe in company will always exist. I am tired of trying to explain myself to others, I shouldn’t have to. If someone loves me, they need to love the good as well as the bad.

I am not them. I am me. I can never be anything but me.

I know that counselling may not be right for everyone, but it was for me. It made me acknowledge that there were things I needed to work on. It also taught me that I need to talk to myself the way I do to others, with love and respect.

I cannot love myself yet, I just cannot, no matter how hard I try, but I am now open to the possibility that maybe one day I could.

These days I talk more freely. I share my experiences with those who ask. I listen to the words and wisdom of others and when needed I offer my thoughts.

I am not alone. I never was. I just did not reach out to find the others like me.

8 thoughts on “Mind Your Mental Health

  1. Knowing I am not alone has been such a simple, yet life-changing comfort for me. You’re right, what works for some, may not work for others, but being able to openly share our experiences and rid society of the taboo-vibe around discussions about mental health is as healing as it gets! Thank you for sharing your story and I am so glad things are looking up for you. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, every day is a learning day and there are still as many bad as good, but it’s all progress. I love the fact that people are becoming more open, sadly though more often than not they have to experience something of their own to understand and then they get it, something clicks into place and the floodgates open.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was 28 when I experienced my first symptoms of anxiety. I refused to acknowledge it was anxiety; it was palpations.
    I did not have mental illness.
    I knew what that was because my sister, who was 3 years younger, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 18. I saw how she suffered her entire life. She struggled to maintain her identity, her sense of self, and that often meant not taking her medicine. She told me once the meds changed who she was, made her feel detached.
    She was a woman of great faith and she had five sisters who loved her and helped her when her illness started to get the better of her. You see, one of the first symptoms we recognized was her beautiful blue eyes changed color, changing to a lighter color, sometimes going almost light grey. We would be there, especially our sister Pat, talking to her, getting her to take meds, and when necessary, getting her hospitalized.
    I wasn’t like that, it was just palpations. I wouldn’t even talk to my Doctor.
    I just turned 65 and I acknowledge I have anxiety. Just being able to say that helps. Certainly, not every one understands and that’s okay.
    I understand.
    I apologize if this is too long, reading your post freed the words. Thank you.

    Like

    • No post is to long or short to speak your truth and it is s good to talk so I’m glad your words were freed, maybe when you are ready you have your next post.
      Your sister was lucky to have you all, especially you, you’re awesome!
      I debated yesteday putting a section into this post about whether I view my anxiety as a mental illness or not, especially in light of people like your Sister who require a huge amount of strength just to exist on a daily basis.
      But it is a mental illness, and anxiety needs to be better understood by those who do not experience it at the levels of some. I do not miss the palpatations.
      I found it very freeing too, acknowledging it, I can’t really tell you why though.
      I remember one day in the middle of my very first counselling session experiencing this brief period of about 15 minutes of peace in my head and I thought , is this what life is like for other people, and then I started to worry because I could not remember what I was worrying about, feck sake.
      You are an amazing person Ann and I would love to hear more about the story of your life. You need to give yourself credit for the things you have been through and witnessed, because what you detail above cannot have been easy. Write about that, even if it is just for you. Hugs for you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. My sister’s battle ended when she died at the age of 59, not from her illness, but improper medical care for a lung condition.
        There was a point when my Doctor sat me down and explained that anxiety is a chemical imbalance that occurs without reason and I started a daily medication which I’m able to adjust as needed. For some reason I have been resistant to counseling but I’ve worked at it on my own.
        It doesn’t matter to me now whether it’s considered a “mental illness” or not. It’s part of who I am and I’m managing things better even though I’m still a very private person. I smiled as I wrote that last bit because so many people could possibly read it.
        I enjoy your posts so very much. Take care and be well.

        Like

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