These posts are never easy to write. Scratch that, they’re never easy to start writing…but, once I get started – it’s as if I literally cannot stop the words from coming out. So…if it sounds like I’m rambling a little bit it’s because I likely am and am not even going to edit this before I post it because then I may chicken out and not hit publish…
I can’t tell you how many times I have started a post of this nature, gotten a couple of lines in and the overwhelming feeling of failure/embarrassment/whatever takes over and I cannot continue.
*At this moment I have exactly 374 posts in my draft folder…that’s not including what I’ve written in my notepad on my phone, or the notebooks strewn and hidden all around my apartment…each of those are in double digits…
Most people don’t even realize that mental health is something I have been battling forever. They see the ‘happy-go-lucky’ gal they know online, and don’t realize there is so much more to it…to me.
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
I’m not sure why we feel so self conscious about sharing our personal struggles with mental health. Is it because there is still such a stigma surrounding them? It’s so frustrating. This is something I have personally battled with for as long as I can remember, yet at times it honesty feels as though we haven’t made any strides in favour of publicly accepting that mental health is a disease and should be treated as such.
I shared a personal post a while back about the fact that I had a suicide attempt almost four years ago. It was titled, “Part One – How Did I Get Here” and I had a vision in my head about sharing Part Two (my stay in the mental health ward), Part Three (acknowledging my past and how it has affected who I am today) and Part Four (my depression and anxiety do not define me), but like I said earlier on in this post…something has always hindered me from either finishing the post or hitting publish.
Not until recently has it seemed even a little bit “ok” to share your struggle with mental health. It was just something you didn’t discuss. For so long, so many didn’t understand just how serious of an issue this is; people thought those battling mental illness were just ‘looking for attention,’ that they should just ‘be happy for what they had because so many others had it worse.’ That’s not how it works, guys.
Sorry, not sorry.
Meghan Yuri Young said it best in her recent post,
“There are champions of cancer, alzheimer’s and heart disease, but when it comes to mental health, the silence is deafening. Shame, fear and confusion often accompany any revelations of mental health issues…”
I’ve been noticing more and more celebrities coming out acknowledging their own battles – which in turn, I hope – is helping to alleviate the stigma surrounding mental health. Let’s face it. We live in a pop culture driven society, we do. Kids these days are looking up to celebrities more than ever for inspiration, wanting to be the next Demi Lovato, J.K. Rowling, Lena Dunham, Kid Cudi, Russel Brand, Jason Mraz…
Yup – each and every one of those celebrities, and many, many more – are battling their own fight with mental illness. Thankfully they have been open and share their struggle, which I hope in turn makes those suffering feel even just a little bit less alone.
I know what it’s like to feel alone; I know what it’s like to feel worthless. To feel as though nothing you say or do matters – that everyone would be much better without you around because you’re nothing but a burden.
It’s not true though. And after years of struggling to not only realize this, but also accept it – I’m finally getting to the point where I believe it. I still have my moments. I still have those times where I question myself, my worth, my everything…but I have removed a lot of toxins (people, places, things…) from my life. By removing those and working on loving myself, I am slowly but surely getting there.
This is the thing with depression and anxiety and things of this sort – you’re never “healed.” I’m sorry, you’re just not. If you were thinking there was a magic pill out there that will just make you feel better – it doesn’t exist. Yes, medication works for many, as do other alternatives (diet, exercise, etc.) – but the fact of the matter is that this is a fight you will be battling forever. The only thing that will change is your stance on the matter.
…find the fighter in you.
You need to find the fighter in you, that voice inside of you that has been buried by the assholes of mental health. The voice that says, ‘Screw this – you DESERVE to be happy!” and will help you fight through the pain.
That voice will help you find the strength to realize that on the other side of all of this pain that you are feeling – there is a life worth living. I promise you this.