I think mental health is becoming an epidemic in our society today. Everything steams from how we are feeling. So why isn’t it taken as seriously as other illnesses?
I’ll never forget the time I asked to speak to my manager just before I finished work one day. I had to ask her if it was ok if I finished an hour early on Fridays for the foreseeable future, as I needed to go to therapy. Not only did she question how long I’d need to be doing it for, she had the audacity to ask me why I was going and did I really need to see a therapist. I’ll never forget that conversation . . . . . . At the time I was shy and worried she’d say no. I certainly didn’t tell her why I was going as it was none of her business. But the audacity she had to question my mental health. . . Now I just think how dare she. I mean I knew I wasn’t an outstanding employee that didn’t come with an attitude and questionable morals, at the time. But she was the adult in that situation and I feel like it was handled very badly. This isn’t the first story I’ve heard where people have handled others mental health as if it was a made up issue.
I think we all have a mental health issue at some point in our life. Some people may be barely affected, whilst others need continuous help and support. For me, I feel like I have been very lucky. I had an extremely tough couple of years. Anxiety ruled my very existence. I remember waking up EVERY single morning and lying there thinking, is today going to be a bad day or a good day, I felt like I didn’t have a choice in which it would be. Most days were bad but even the good ones weren’t great. Slowly with constant persistent trying, support from my newly found best friend at the time (thank you AGAIN chicken for being the rock I needed!), and therapy, I managed to stumble my way to the light. I remember very clearly waking up one day and deciding that, that day was going to be a good day. . . . . . From that day on I’ve never looked back at the darkness that stole parts of me. Of course even now I have my moments. My biggest one being over thinking things. But I’m human.
Going to therapy is the best money I’ve EVER spent. He is worth every single penny. I used to see him every week, then every other and then just when I felt like I needed too. I saw him recently but there was over a years gap in-between. I still have times when my anxiety will raise her ugly head, but now I know how to control it and to focus on why it was triggered and most importantly what I need in that moment in order to move forward. My life mentor and most inspirational person, who I haven’t yet had the privilege to meet yet (hopefully at RISE next year!!) Rachel Hollis, says “you choose how you cope”. This couldn’t be more true. Believe me, I know what being depressed and anxious does to your brain and how totally and utterly helpless and not in control you can feel. But I almost see it like fishing, it’s about patience. Once you’ve hooked the fish you just need to keep reeling it in, until it’s in your hand and you are in control again. But you need to be patient. It isn’t easy, who said it would be? But it sure is worth it.
If you have had mental health issues and are at the other end of the tunnel. . . . . Well done! Keep doing what you’re doing and share your story and inspire others! If you aren’t there yet. All I can say is, keeping choosing the good days. Keep choosing you. Even just the good minutes. Remember that you are in control and I promise you, you’ll get there!! You got this!
I don’t think people understand how stressful it is to explain what’s going on your head when you don’t even understand yourself.