We’ve all been there, year after year after year, some are more lucky than others but once in a while it returns… all it takes is one sneeze and before you know it they you are lying pathetically on your bed, work has been called and a duvet day promised. Within minutes you’ve munched your way through a pack of Ibuprofen, and drank yourself out of house and home of that sugary treat Lemsip. Finally you begin to feel air in your nostrils, that drum kit that you couldn’t stop from beating finally decreases and the pain in your throat ceases.
Mental health recovery doesn’t happen so easily… Anxiety, Panic, Bipolar, Depression, Eating Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Personality, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Self Harm, Suicidal Feelings, Suicide, these are all symptoms of mental health, whether they appear in your life as a day to day, week to week, month to month, or even a yearly battle it is all significant. They matter, it matters, you matter.
There is a stigma around mental health issues that makes it hard to approach, people understand this but continue to approach it from the outside when the struggle is really on the inside. It’s hard to self-diagnose mental health, like depression or ADHD, when your own brain is the standard, you know nothing else to compare it too. When you have lived your whole life a certain way, what is to say that that isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Refusing to acknowledge or be made aware of conditions for what they really are, can lead to other physical health problems’ crime, incarceration, homelessness, addictions, job stability issues and suicide. These consequences are very real and occur too often to continually be ignored.
If we break a bone in our body, we seek immediate care. If we suffer from any inexplainable pain, we seek medical attention. If we were then diagnosed with a health issue, we would then take medication that our doctor prescribed to us to fix the pain. This is because we care about our overall health, and in order for us to sustain and maintain and comfortable long life we have to do all that we can to look after ourselves, and prevent anything from occurring that interferes with this. The inner pain you feel is as real and important as any cut, blooded wound or broken bone. It’s okay for you to ask for help. You owe it to yourself, you deserve the ability to be able to live up to your full potential and achieve success and happiness.
Life can be hard, it can be lonely. So often people don’t talk about that enough, they think it’s all in their heads, and that every feeling they go through they must be the only ones experiencing it. Too often I come across people not wanting to share the honesty in their emotions, thoughts, feelings, because they fear what others will think, the judgement and scrutiny that they will receive once they have shared. So instead, they bottle all of the feelings up, keeping them safe and hidden below the surface. Burying them as deep as they possibly can, so once again they can face the world with a big brave smile. I promise you, that if you stop trying to hide everything, things really do get better.
It’s difficult sharing depth, I know. Trust me. I think anyone that knows me, will tell you what a bubbly character I am, a sociable being that somehow knows someone somewhere. When I was younger I learnt the true art of deflection, I was fascinated in psychology, sociology, anything to do with the study of minds and laws of attraction etc. Most people would tell you I’m an open book, approachable, and that’s the way I always want to be perceived. However, I very rarely share facts about my past, my experiences, and what I’m currently going through. Often it’s easier for me to talk to others about what they are going through, sex, love, weather, weekend plans, anything really that deflects from my having to talk about my reality, past, struggles and fears.
Too much of life happens at surface level, we live In shallow waters, where things are easy and topical. Everyone wants their life to be shiny and perfect. Yet too many of us do not feel so. We continue to hide behind snapchat filters, and surface level messages. We need deeper conversations, we need to talk about how we are actually feeling, and we need to make the most out of life. We need to talk about our fears, and our anxieties, just as much as we talk about all of our success, hopes and dreams. But most importantly we need to feel like someone else out there understands us and that we are not alone in this.
If you are struggling, I want you to know that it’s okay to stop hiding your pain, that there is comfort out there. That even on your darkest days you are supported, and you are loved.
Dedicated to Alfie Maroney-O’Brien 27.07.1992 – 17.11.2018