Before we begin I would like to warn everyone about the content of this post. Today I will be talking about mental illness and suicide, if you believe this are things that might trigger you, I suggest you exit this post and read something else instead.
Hello wonderful human beings, how have you been? Has it been raining all week for you as well? Here it has been raining since Monday afternoon. I love rainy days, they are perfect for grabbing a blanket and snuggling with a book.
This has been a very relaxing week, but something happened yesterday that I want to talk about.
Wednesday is Brandon’s day off, which means we spend the day together. It is often the day we run errands and yesterday was no different. Except, when we woke up I was very sad.
If you have read read some of my past post you might already know that I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression at the beginning of 2019. Things have improved a lot, and sometimes I even forget how hard and miserable things were at one point, but yesterday wasn’t the best of days.
Sometimes it is hard to know what triggers my brain to be sad or scared or anxious, and it can happen so simingly out of the nowhere, like it did yesterday. Getting out of bed was really hard, let alone stop crying and actually having the energy to do anything. If it wasn’t because of Brandon and Tater tots, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.
I am fortunate to have an amazing support system and have access to resources like therapy and medication, that help me manage and heal from my mental illness. But the truth is, most people don’t.
Sadly, there is still a lot of stigma around mental illness. I still hear advice such as “just get over it” or “if you stop thinking about it, it will go away.” I wish that was the case, I truly wish that if I didn’t think about my depression it would go away and never come back, because then I would be cured and I would never have to struggle with it again, but that is not the case.
Mental illness has been proven to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, and thought it is different for each person, it is never something easy to deal with. I’ve known people who struggle with mental illness, who have never been diagnosed and have never received the help they need because the world that surrounds them is one that looks down on mental illness as a weakness.
THERE IS NOTHING WEAK ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS! Let me say that again, there is nothing weak about mental illness. Sometimes the simple act of existing is a great sign of strength.
Something else that absolutely breaks my heart is hearing people talk about suicide as the ultimate sign of weakness because it means people have given up on life and instead of changing their situation they have decided to end their lives.
Suicide is not as simple as deciding to give up. The idea of commiting suicide is something that follows you for a long time before you actually decide to act on it, or even before you begin to think about the possibility of making a plan to commit suicide.
When someone commits suicide, they know what it means, they know there is no going back, they know they will hurt the people they love and the people that loves them. It is not an easy decision, and sometimes it might not feel like a decision at all.
My therapist once gave the following example: mental illness is like diabetes. People will look down on you, assume that you have an unhealthy life style and some might even blame you for your illness. When the reality is that there million more factors that can cause and worsen diabetes. The same goes for mental illness. It is never something people choose, and managing mental illness isn’t as easy as changing your life style or current situation. I’m not saying those things wouldn’t help, but there is a lot more to it than that.
September is Suicide Prevention Month and mental health awareness month. This means that you need to be honest with yourself about your feelings and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Check up on your friends, be available to offer support and don’t be afraid to suggest they visit a therapist. Educate yourself about mental health and illness to stop stereotypes. When you hear people make jokes about mental health or make fun of someone who struggles with mental illness, stop it. Then go above that and take the step that truly matters (and probably the hardest) strive to create a world worth living in. Create a world where the hope of finding happiness isn’t just a silly dream but an actual reality that people can achieve on a daily basis. Understand that no life is ever perfect (no matter how wonderful it looks) and you don’t know the struggle someone might be going through, so be mindful of how you treat others, and how you treat yourself.
I think that is enough for today, as always find the thing that makes you happy, be kind, share your love, water your plants and don’t forget that therapy is for everyone (even if there’s nothing wrong with you).