Sunday 13 November 2016

Let's Talk

Mental illness, mental health awareness, beach

As I touch on the topic of mental illness, it's more often than not pretty uncomfortable. I live with depression so I can't avoid it.  When I chat to someone who I barely know or simply someone who doesn't mention my illness, it's like a breath of fresh air. I can actually be me. Life is not all breaths of fresh air though. Some people avoid talking to me about it how I feel because they don't know how to deal with it. However, I have to ask, where's that going to get them? I'm not one to beat around the bush, so, to put it bluntly - we can't ignore depression (or low mood if you don't have depression). 

I was told several times after my last post on mental illness that "You are so brave for being so honest" which meant a lot, however, what may seem strange is that I found it easier to tell the internet about my depression than my friends. For quite a long time, I had only told a few friends because first, I was afraid to say it out loud and, secondly, I feared that they would look at me differently. In fact, my family told most of the people as I simply couldn't. It's not until you go through something as challenging and life-shaking as this, that you discover who your real friends are. For that, I am truly grateful. Many people who I thought would support and love me, abandoned me. Perhaps, they thought I was different, they didn't know how to approach the illness or for other reasons unknown to me. Whatever, the reason I'm not bothered as the people that matter stuck with me and I hope that if you are going through something similar you can feel the same someday. If you aren't the one with depression or low mood, please be the one that sticks by! 

If you have depression, actually admitting it to yourself and those close to you, is one of the greatest achievements. Sometimes we simply can't do it alone and we need help - which also applies to many other aspects of life. I'm a perfectionist so I always wanted to be the best I could possibly be. However, what I thought was 'the best' gradually became out of my reach and it took a long time for me to accept this. What we think is 'the best' isn't always the best.  For me, leaving school became the best decision to make, being put on medication became the best chance at getting better, talking about my depression became the best way to accept it. 

Let's talk.

Don't ever think that because your moods or struggles don't seem as bad as someone else's, you can't justify talking about them. Not talking is how things get worse. If you feel alone, I can assure you there will always be someone out there that wants to listen. A difficulty for me right now is that because I've reached recovery stage, people assume I'm completely okay. I'm not. However, I'm afraid to talk about it now as it's gone on for long enough and I don't want to remind myself of the lowest times. This can't be the case, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable we need to admit what's going on inside our heads. I try to ensure that the people who need to know know, and you can do the same.  Often we are too scared to say things out loud but it doesn't get us anywhere. A little fear is healthy. Nothing will ever bother you as much as your own mind, so set your thoughts free, lighten the load and share them with someone.

"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that is how you grow." 
- Marissa Mayer

My previous post on mental illness: Getting Personal


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