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.