Hi lovelies, I’m back with a new post.. getting good at this consistently blogging thing (give it a week I’ll be off the wagon again ha!) anyway – today is Mental Health Awareness day, a day I hold close to my heart and a day to show compassion, to listen, to learn, have courage and strength to share and shed a positive light on mental health.I’m quite an honest and open person when it comes to my own struggles & not long ago I found myself in a position again, where my health was taken over by my mental state, I was off work for months, I was overcome with intense sadness & I just couldn’t get past my dark days. The stigma and shame towards psychological struggling is still huge and it really shouldn’t be- especially in our day and age. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember & only recently after my latest struggles, have I accepted that actually it’s ok and accept that my life often is consumed by my mental state. I realised and accepted that it’s ok that I have anxiety, it’s ok that I have visible scars still, it’s ok that sometimes I wake up and don’t want to be here, it’s ok that I feel so depressed that nothing makes me happy (not even my gorgeous son). It’s also ok that I have to tell everyone I love them in my own way, different for each person every.single.day just so I don’t go into meltdown that they’ll die without knowing I loved them. It’s ok that I constantly need reassurance that I’m not alone and the people around me are staying. Because this is PTSD, bereavement and anxiety.
What isn’t ok, is thinking that this makes me any less of a human. That it makes me crazy, it makes me different from anyone else or makes me strange or weak, that I’m not worthy of love, happiness and the same things anyone else is worthy of. It is just simply the way my mind communicates to me, it’s way of telling me I’m not ok and although it doesn’t do so as effectively as other people’s brains do; again that is ok. There is no “quick-fix” for gaining stability with mental health and for some, it’s something you learn to live with instead of ‘curing’. This can be by personal acceptance, sharing with like minded people, seeking professional help or help from a trusted loved one, not seeking help and finding your own path to positive living, having a routine or no routine. It’s so individual and finding the answer can come at any point. You aren’t weak for dealing with struggles differently to someone else. Getting through each day shows the strength.
My mental state dipped when I went into year 10 of secondary school and around the time my dad became very unwell. I don’t want this to come across the wrong way and like I blame my dad, but a lot of my mental health problems; stem from my dad. I have witnessed a lot in terms of trauma via my dad’s illnesses and that really had a knock on effect. I was lucky in that I had a lot of support at school, but I went to college and was on my own when he passed away and that was really bloody tough. I will never blame my dad for any of the stuff I’ve gone through, but it was enough to have a huge impact.
I used to hide what I went through, refuse to talk about it because I was embarrassed and sad about/of what I used to do to myself. Now looking back on it, I am not ashamed of anything I went through or did to myself. The stuff I did, was my way of getting through the day, whether the right or wrong way to do so; they were my coping mechanisms. I am not saying it is ok to try and hurt or attempt to kill yourself, starve yourself until you pass out and can’t come back round, to fight with anyone and everyone who is showing you the slightest bit of help and love, to drink endless amounts of alcohol in hope it’ll destroy your insides, to wander aimlessly around the streets alone at 2-3am not knowing where you are or what might happen to you and even care. I look back on these things and in someways, I am proud. I am proud because those things kept me going, I am proud because no matter how hard I tried, my body kept fighting off every attempt of suicide, I am proud because I have now overcome those strategies and have new, better and much safer ones to help me get out of a relapse or bad place. I am proud because I am now able to use my awful experiences in a positive way to help others.
My job, consists of me working with children with special educational needs, these needs vary from child-to-child and no child will ever be the same. Some of these needs can be ADHD, ADD, ASD to dyslexia, delays in speech or some form of anxiety. I like to try as much as I can, put myself into their position and imagine how I’d feel if I were them and try be the person, I would need if I needed help. I try to reason with them, talk to them, help and be the person of safety and trust and you know what? In my job, most of the time, it does not work and again, that is ok. I definitely feel though, my experiences in mental health help both me and the children in being open about our feelings and to talk- again, it often doesn’t work but I want to try and make as much awareness of our emotional and mental states as early on as possible and I feel lucky that I get to do that within my role. Equally, this stuff and being mum to Freddie is also important. I want him to grow up being aware of mental health, the struggles I’ve faced and do, the ones he might and I never want it to be something he has to be ashamed of. I don’t want him growing up feeling like he can’t suffer or be scared to be open about what he might face – I want him to know that I am his safe place, as I always have been and will continue to be. I don’t want to shy away from him or hide anything because I’d never want that for him.If you find yourself struggling, sharing with at least one person is really recommended, and albeit super tough it’s such a big step to ensuring safety and accepting that things are tough. So today, but not just today – ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. Enlighten, listen, speak, love to others and most importantly yourself. Battling with your own mind everyday is tough, but it’s never shameful. It is brave, real and damn-well strong.
Thank you for reading, please know my inboxes on any of my social platforms, are always open to anyone, so please – if you need someone, I’m here. I know how hard it is to talk, trust me- I have NEVER been good at it and I’m still not. But it is essential to speak out, because a problem shared is a problem halved and it can do the world of good to have a conversation with someone who may understand or can at least, try too. Take care.