“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.” ― Rita Mae Brown
Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day #BellLetsTalk. I’m normally pretty open about my mental health with family and friends. Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it here more than a few times.
I’ve had trauma, but so have others. That doesn’t diminish my experiences or anyone else’s.
I’ve had struggles, but so have others. That doesn’t diminish my battles or anyone else’s.
I have health conditions, but so do others. That doesn’t diminish how it impacts me or how others deal with their own.
I have struggled mentally from all of it, others do as well, some don’t. That’s ok. Everyone copes with things in different ways. Some chose to push it aside and trudge on. Some wallow in it, bathing in the anguish and despair. Some face it head on, the train wreck entering the station and continuing on. I could go on.
Since today is a day to talk mental health, I’ll share mine. Since I was young, I’ve always struggled with anxiety and self-perception. I worried constantly about what others thought of me, I was bullied which made it worse. I do have generalized anxiety disorder. My old family doctor thought my MS impacted it and made it worse.
I remember little me, about six years old, looking in a mirror. I was wearing a one piece bathing suit. I thought I was fat. SIX YEARS OLD I thought I was fat. I wasn’t. I was actually quite tiny when I was young. So, in case you haven’t guessed – yes, I have body dismorphia.
When you are in chronic pain, or have a chronic health condition, and trauma, depression is usually what comes along. Yes, I have clinical depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (basically, I’m more depressed in the winter months). I lot of people think of depression as being stuck in a bed and not going anywhere. That’s not always how it looks though. I’m functional. I work a full-time job. I have children, I have pets. Some think I have too many pets, my psychiatrist says otherwise. They get me moving, they depend on me. They don’t judge me.
The older I have gotten, the less I like going to stores. I do have a bit of agoraphobia. I hate crowds, I’m noise sensitive, I get irritated very fast. Due to my MS, I get overheated really fast which then triggers my anxiety. Oh, there’s ADHD in there too.
With all of that, I’m still here. I’m still fighting, I struggle to make sure my family gets the best of me. I struggle with my personal identity, what I love doing, what am I passionate about (seriously, what am I passionate about?). I used to have a plan. Doesn’t everyone start with a plan? Life had other ideas, other paths and I’ve been a traveler wandering where ever it takes me.
So today, and everyday, be open with who you are. Be honest about your struggles and successes. Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it. If someone tells you they think you are struggling, maybe take that seriously and see if you are.
Whatever you do, always make sure you are giving yourself the best of what you can.
Foo Fighters – The Best of You