Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A Mental Health Message



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World Mental Health Day I'm sure has a small meaning to some, and a bigger, deeper meaning to others. Mental health struggles surround us all, sadly, just as Cancer does. 

Both of these illnesses I have been acquainted with - which means my family and friends have too. So you see, we're all connected somehow. These painful battles have touched all of our lives. How comforting it is to see people group together and say a simple 'me too'.  

There is such power and strength in that.

 Mental Health does need to be addressed and spoken about with compassion and non-judgment, because like any illness, it is terrifying. Whether you are going through it yourself, or watching a loved one experience it, there is no escaping how upsetting and out of control it leaves you feeling. To know that other people understand, can instantly reduce that fear, even if it's short lived. It can centre a fragile mind and lessen the fear that you're going through it alone -  which in turn offers Hope

We all need a little bit of hope, I think you'd agree. 

I have touched on Mental Health on both of my blogs. There are a few posts dotted about. It is after all, the very reason I began writing and creating on some internet pages of my very own at the start of the year! 

For a long time I felt very ashamed, guilty and to be perfectly honest like a fraud . . . when my trip to the doctor became very serious, as I sat with my wonderful mum beside me, my grasp on reality and imagined disaster extremely hazy, desperately trying to relay my feelings and speak up about the state my frazzled mind was in. - I still felt so overwhelmingly like I was letting everyone around me down. 

It turned out my lovely doctor didn't need me to speak at all. It had reached the point where she could see my struggle all too clearly. I couldn't hide and try to manage it any longer. She compassionately, with immediate effect handed me a long term sick note, and some much needed medication to calm everything down. I was experiencing a breakdown and clinical Anxiety/Depression overload. I had left my job earlier that evening to make it to the doctors for some much needed support - this was encouraged and warmly nurtured by my mum, who had taken the reins from my hands when I was unable to hold them solidly myself.  Often those special people close to us see what's happening better than we do ourselves. It's wise to trust them. 

My job entailed a lot of responsibility, I often had sole charge. That evening, ( as I closed everything down for the night as usual to hurry to the doctor ) no matter how hard I tried, I stood for over half an hour, frozen, unable to move from staring at a locked door for fear I had not locked it at all! I was paralysed in that moment. And I could not move away - until it felt right to do so.

It sounds so absurd to read. But the mind when troubled and frightened does peculiar things in a bid to protect us - our minds do not want to make us poorly - but sometimes, wires gets crossed and our thought process becomes distorted - our emotions quieten down, or grow louder, or disappear all together. Our sense of reality alters itself, who we are loses focus, distressing imagery fills our minds, decision making becomes impossible - your brain shuts down normal functioning. 

Healing with the help of animals ~ https://millymayamelia.wordpress.com/mindfulness-with-horses/

To anyone who does not understand mental health, or chooses not to believe someone's struggle, I hope some compassion fuels you to empathise with what it is like to have your brain not working properly. Relaying mixed messages, jumbled up emotions, an overwhelming sense of dread and doom.Or nothing at all. Numbness. Disconnection. 

Depression does not mean you are ungrateful for the life or loved ones you have. It means your brain is unable to connect you to any of it. Anxiety isn't something you can cure by 'just getting on with it' it is an overriding emotion that prevents you from clarity and confidence to handle a situation, person, and even yourself. 

I hope anyone who may click on my blog and read this today, can trust that there is HOPE to be found. In life, in people and in yourself. You're going to make it. Please do not belittle who you are. I had to keep reminding myself I was not well - and soon, slowly but surely, little pieces of myself began returning. They are still returning. But at least I can write it down and remember how far I've come from the start of the year.

To anyone who struggles to understand, please do just show empathy - Mental Health problems happen just like any other physical illness happens. It is not imagined, exaggerated, made up, or non - existent. It is real. But kindness and compassion go a long way to helping someone on their way to recovery.

With lots of love and very best wishes to all of you . . . 

#worldmentalhealthday

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