Mental Health: Time to Talk

It’s Time to Talk Day, so, let’s.

I became a blogger because I wanted to share my life with whoever wanted to be part of it. All of it. The good bits and the not so good bits. Looking back, maybe it was because I was too scared to stand alone in my life and try and talk aloud without the safety blanket of calling it blogging wrapped around me. But I did it anyway. I’m here. Doesn’t quite matter how I made it here.

Today is Time to Talk day and I feel like I need to address and renew my commitment to doing that sharing. With all the honesty, heart and soul I can give.

Life, my life, your life, everyone’s life, especially on social media can become filtered and seem one dimensional. I made a big personal step last year to share some very personal parts of me, my longterm struggles with my mental health with everyone who follows my jabbering. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t for everyones entertainment though, it was mostly for me. Making certain things public, talking about them, helped me face things a bit easier. Medication, counselling, life evaluations and finding solutions and changes.

But I feel an apology is due. To myself.

I have let myself slowly slip back into that place. I label it as safe place but it really isn’t. It’s a place I ignore things, I don’t talk, I start labelling irrational things as rational and I let myself become part of the problem that we all face when it comes to mental health. We pretend it isn’t there.

I guess my reasons are, it has been nearly a year since I felt I hit rock bottom and I feel a bit of a failure that I’m not healed. I’m carrying that burden, silently again.

Yes, I have had counselling, but for every bit of help it gave me, it’s hard to accept that things actually got harder after it. But of course they did. I was dragging skeletons out of the closet that were so covered in dust they looked like snowmen.

When you shove so much stuff under the rug to make your room tidy, well, you can imagine the mess when you finally get around to sorting through it. I guess I wasn’t prepared for the mess and time it was going to take to sort it.

Yes, I started medication. It’s saved me. Definitely. It’s made me able to cope day-to-day without the incredibly scary panic attacks, nausea, dizziness and lack of appetite being at the forefront of my daily life. Medication has helped me to start enjoying life, by taking away the physical pains of suffering with poor mental health. BUT. Medication hasn’t fixed me. It hasn’t changed my problems or how I think. They’re tiny powdery tablets, they’re not fairy godmothers. The hard bit is down to me. The sorting out. The clearing the mess up. No one can sort through my problems and get them sorted into the keep me or bin me piles, except me. Maybe I have given too much power to the pills to do my clearing up, when that part is left to only me.

Today is Time to Talk day. I might not be talking for the first time but whether it’s the first, second or the four hundred and sixteenth time we open our mouths to speak openly about our mental health, let’s do it without fear, without shame, without stigma.

I need to remember that. Today and every day.

-Lou

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