Me, Myself & My Mental Illness

It's Mental Health Awareness Week and May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We need to raise awareness and it's repeatedly being said, i know but it's true isn't it. 1 in 4 are affected by mental illness' every year. It's scary. When we say we have a mental illness, people are quick to judge and run the other way. My brain is overloaded with pressure and expectations created by society and those with lack of understanding.

 We all need support, whether we are someone with a mental illness or whether we are caring for someone is ill. Stigma that is attached to this group of illnesses is slowly disappearing, although that is only because people are talking more and are supportive of those around them. Mental illness is real and it is something shouldn't be overlooked in our society. There needs to be more education in schools, colleges, universities to help with recognising the signs, the importance of good mental health, talking about their emotions, recognising different mental illnesses and talking openly about their mental health  - there is a lot of pressure on young people and what about their well-being?

 Let’s just be honest here… nothing is more exhausting than arguing with your own brain every day, all day. Every single thought is like a battle within itself. Having anxiety makes you care too much, having depression makes you not care enough. When you have both, it can be nothing short of hell.

I may be smiling on the outside, but on the inside, I’m at war. Anxiety gives me a list of things to do, but depression doesn’t give me any motivation to do any of it. You feel you want to do better, but you just don’t know how. Some people don’t realise how getting out of bed, having a shower, brushing your hair, putting on clothes, simple chores like that, take so much out of you. When you wake up feeling tired every day because you know the day ahead is going to be exhausting because you are already fighting with yourself as soon as you open your eyes… I'm only human. A human being with thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends but hating socialising. It’s like wanting to be alone without being lonely. It’s caring about everything and nothing at the same time. It’s feeling everything at once and then feeling numb. The worst part of it all is you want to be loved but you don’t know how to let people in to love you and you always think you don’t deserve love.1 You feel like you are better off alone but you don’t want to be alone.

Sometimes the only thing you know how to do is breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. One day, it won’t always be like this. One day, you will be able to have a day without having to fight with yourself. One day, you will accept the love you deserve instead of the love you think you deserve. One day, you will wake up and be able to conquer the day. Until that day comes, hold on.

You hope better days are coming. It can’t rain forever. You know it can’t be bad always. It can get better. You can fall so madly in love with yourself. You have already survived 100 percent of your bad days. You’ve made it through your worst times. You have all this strength and probably don’t even realise it. I know it seems impossible to get out of bed and go on with your day, but you can do it. Yes, you may have anxiety or depression, but they don’t have to have you.

You are fed up of people telling you that it will be okay in the end even though there is a part of you that believes it will. It's all going to be okay. You wonder when the end is going to come because you have been suffering silently for months maybe even years on end and you haven't seen as much as a glimmer of hope.

We're all fighting our own battles. You are only human and it takes a lot of courage to get up everyday despite how you feel. The day recovery comes is the day you prove to everyone how strong are and were. Please hang on in there because you are braver, smarter, kinder, prettier and funnier than what you think you are.

I urge you to start a conversation with the people around you, with your family, your peers – your conversation starter is the fact it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. I’m not going to tell you that it’ll be easy, that it’ll be a comfortable conversation. It won’t. Because it’s not talked about enough. Once you start talking about mental health, it starts to lose the hold it has over people.

You are not alone. You are enough just as you are. You are strong. You are worthy. Know it's OK not to be OK.
Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. There’s no set rule on how long recovery will take or how hard it will be, which is why you have to learn to be patient with yourself. It seems to be easy just to survive but what about thriving.

There are people out there to help you. To listen and provide a shoulder to cry on. But they can only do so much. They can only help if you let them. Being open and honest is key to recovery. No one can do it for you. You have to do it yourself. Instead of believing that you can't. Believe that you can. Be kind and caring towards yourself. Recognise you are going through a hard time and tell yourself that it's okay. This is normal, you are human.

1 comment

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