People take time off work when they have a tummy bug, a cold, or any other kind of physical sickness – so why not do the same when you’re feeling mentally unwell too? We’re slowly but surely understanding that it’s okay not to be okay – but where do we go from there?
I actually started writing this post a couple of weeks ago and was thinking of discarding it, but with the tragic suicide of Caroline Flack reminding people that a smile doesn’t always mean you’re truly happy, and that social media presence can oftentimes be fake, I thought this was a good opportunity to share my thoughts.
Despite all the knowledge and awareness going round, and the amount of people who do speak up about mental health, there still seems to be a lot of misinformation and a big stigma around it and how one should treat it. And in truth, there isn’t just one way – everyone is different, everyone’s experiences and situations are different, and so we cannot all be put into one box.
Depression, anxiety, and all related conditions or disorders affect people in completely unique ways, because we’re human like that – but thankfully, there are many things that can help; such as therapy, medication, exercise, change in diet or lifestyle, and sometimes, taking a step back.
Everyone needs a break once in a while – whether it means staying off social media for a few days, going on holiday, taking some time off, or even quitting a job or ending a relationship that isn’t healthy for you. If it’s somehow going to help, then go for it. Things fall into place, and as cliché as it sounds, everything really does happen for a reason. Even if you can’t seem to figure it out just yet. I promise it’s going to be okay.
Very often, letting go or quitting is made to be seen as the weaker option; chickening out, if you will, and not being strong enough to face reality. But I call total BS on that, because frankly, leaving something is, more often than not, the harder thing to do. And being able to step away from something that is damaging you is most definitely a sign of strength, wisdom, and self-respect. So please don’t ever think otherwise. Please don’t force yourself to do something that makes you miserable. And please don’t let anyone make you feel insignificant or less worthy of happiness for deciding to step away from something that’s hurting you.
And ultimately, I cannot express how important and helpful it is to just talk. Find a good support system, and let your heart out. It could be your family, your partner, a good friend or two, a colleague, or a mental health professional – whoever it is, please find someone to talk to. I am personally very much aware of what a difference talking to people who care for, love, and support you can make – it’s what in my experience has taken me from suicidal to recovery. From misery to action. From hitting rock bottom to climbing back up.
Mental health is a very real thing, and we need to start treating it as the serious subject that it is.
I know this post has been a little all over the place – but that’s a pretty significant reflection of where my mind is at right now. A scattered jigsaw puzzle. A roller-coaster. A bit of a mess.
But I’m sure that it somehow resonates with many people out there. And I know it’ll all be okay. 🙂
If reading this has in any way helped you, or you know someone who might benefit from reading it, please do share. And if you would like some advice on where you can get some help or simply need someone to talk to, feel free to send me a private message on my Facebook or Instagram page, or even get in touch anonymously here.
Until next time,