Yesterday was World Mental Health Day so obviously that’s my topic for today. And today is International Day of the Girl Child so that’s tomorrow covered. I just love being one day out of sync at all times.
So Mental Health. It’s fitting for me at the moment, as you know I’m always banging on about it, especially lately. I’ve recently been diagnosed with depression and anxiety – something I have always ignored but has gone into overdrive over the last couple of years. As a result of finally getting some help I’ve been doing counselling and I’m now medicated too. Which freaked me out to begin with but now seems like such a logical step. Mental Health after all is no different to physical health, the two in fact can go hand in hand.
It’s been through following people on social media and talking to other friends who are fearless about MH discussions that I’ve felt like I can be true to myself. Which sounds all kinds of cliche but it’s a relief to know there are people out there exactly like me and that I don’t have to be the strong one all the time. I fully realise it’s okay to not be okay and to reach out for help. And, where possible, set aside time and energy to administer all-important self-care.
Through this new honesty I’ve also been able to converse with loved ones who understand what anxiety feels like so a lot of good has come out of this period in my life.
To define anxiety is a hard one. I mean, it’s different for every person (and the same) and what works for one in ‘dealing’ with it, may not work for another. My personal anxiety seems mostly of a hypothetical nature. I stress constantly about terrible things happening and it makes me ill. I’m also constantly paranoid that everyone hates me, that I’ve fucked up, that I’m a failure and a fraudster – and all that bleeds into my every day life.
I’m currently learning how to compartmentalise and ‘file’ worries into two categories: ones I can deal with and ones that I have no control over, therefore I have to let go. It’s the letting go that I’m still learning to do – and that is way easier said than done.
There’s no fix for this and I think that’s the bottom line. So many of us live with these feelings so it’s important that we’re talking about it. Things may get better but it will always be an ongoing process – and that’s okay. Through conversation we can shrug off the stigma and maybe even help each other out. We all have the right to good MH, whoever we are and wherever we are.
So here’s to the worriers and the anxious and the depressed – you’re not in this alone.
Ps. Tonight was my last group counselling session and when I said goodbye to the one woman I’ve bonded with there, I choked up. I will probably never see her again and I just hope she finds a way to live with her worry ❤