It's OK To Take Mental Health Days

You know the sort of day I’m talking about. The sort of day where it feels like anything, anything in the world must be better than living your life. The sort of day where there is constant bad butterflies in your belly, where you’re either crying hysterically but can’t actually pinpoint why or you’re staring in silence at the wall or window, because you can’t quite bring yourself to do anything else.

You just want to stop being a person. It’s not entirely like you want to kill yourself, you just don’t want to live your life. You just don't want to exist, it's too much.  You’d like to switch off, take some time out and have somebody else live as you for a bit so that you can have time to recharge, recoup and hibernate and go back to your life when it’s a bit easier, a bit sunnier and a bit happier. 

Asking to take a mental health day is something most of us aren't comfortable with doing as there is a stigma attached to mental illnesses still, we're expected to carry on as if we're programmed like robots, why should we feel bad for taking a personal day to destress and get ourselves back to a good mind set. Baring in mind, mental illnesses don't have a day off. Why are we apologizing for our mental illness? You don't have to apologize for taking a day off. You don't have to apologize for crying or feeling down. You don't have to feel bad for taking medication for your illness.

I'm not one to tell those closest to me about whats up with me, they don't really get it - I mean they try, everyone tries to understand and i'm grateful for that. The odd day when you wake up and the day is grey and bleak and you feel like you might actually fall into tiny pieces if you try and brave transport or strangers or every day life. Sometimes you just need a day to try and clear yourself of all the hazy mentalness in your head. It's not easy to say 'hey i need to take a mental health day' to work or whatever, whereas if you were to let your tutor know that you won't be able to make it to class because of your mental illness it's another story - i've found some tutors and LSA's very understanding who will go out their way to make sure i'm okay or if i need to take some time out. 

You become obsessed with the idea of people thinking bad of you. But more than anything you hate the idea that people won’t believe you because maybe you’re not mentally ill, maybe you are just making the whole thing up in your head. Maybe this is how everyone else feels but everyone else is stronger and you’re just weak and pathetic and need to man the hell up. And that's something that comes with generation.

Everyone’s version of depression is slightly different because everyone’s mind is slightly different, but it is real and it is painful. Depression is not just feeling sad. Depression is all-consuming and when add Anxiety to the mix it's an nightmare – when you’re in the grips of it it can take over everything and stop you being a functioning person entirely. So we have to allow ourselves, as with any physical illness, time to recover. We have to admit when we’re not suffering from some tiny minor illness and when we’re battling something that deserves attention, needs treatment and needs bed rest. Not someone saying 'Get Over It' it really doesn't help and it makes you seem like an arsehole 

I understand that someone who is skeptical about mental health would be able to write it off as the other way around and all I can say to that is I hope that they never have to fight my daily fight to learn otherwise. When people say that mental illness is an excuse or fabricated by a lazy person it hurts me. I love life but some days I can't live it and for someone to tell me that I am doing it to myself is so frustrating. No one can put a face to depression, anxiety, OCD, Bipolar disorder or any mental illness.

 Depression is real, and it is scary and it is extremely hard to heal from. So let’s do it, let’s try our hardest to cut ourselves some slack, to tell ourselves it’s OK – but more than anything, let’s stop second-guessing how other people feel inside their own heads and let’s be kind to each other, always. We all need love, kindness and understanding.

Every day i'm learning as i continue my mental health journey that i'm strong, i matter and i will one day get better. It has shown me that I am a warrior There will be days where i will struggle but just take a deep breath and breathe and sharing your story will inspire others.
Everyone is struggling, but some hide it better than others. Struggling with the same or different demons, but it doesn't make their struggle any less difficult.

We often hold onto things that make us feel something. We find parts of ourselves in everything we do and love. In art, music, quotes, poems, etc. This is because they help us forget about the pain and the stress of tomorrow or today. We are constantly searching for others who feel the same way, because we don't want to feel crazy or alone.

I suspect that I will spend my entire life treading the fine line between feeling content and good, and feeling overwhelmed and unstable, but so long as I am aware of my own warning signs and my own triggers and I know the actions to take when it feels like I’m being engulfed in one giant wave of darkness, I know I’ll be OK. Because it's OK not to be OK most of the time, after all we're human. We're either our own worst enemy or our own best friend and the journey of our mental illnesses is a brave one, it takes courage to wake up and continue fighting those demons.

My Mental Illness Is Mine And Mine Alone. I am 1 in 4 and i'm not ashamed. My medication does not completely take away my struggles, it only helps make it easier. Every day I still have to fight and battle against it. I am proud of myself and proud to be lucky enough to have survived and still face these battles because they make me stronger. I am a warrior, I am a fighter.

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