LET’S TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH // TIME TO TALK DAY 2018

If you didn’t know, today is #TimeToTalk Day. A day where we talk about our mental health, encourage others to talk about theirs, to stick a united bunch of middle fingers at the stigma we are surrounded by when it comes to mental illnesses.

I’ve experienced my fair share of mental illnesses, I have a big old list that’s longer than my arm. Some of the illnesses I’ve had the delight of being diagnosed with are: Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Clinical Depression, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, School Refusal Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Self Harm, Emetophobia, Eating Disorders, Post Natal Depression, Pre Natal Anxiety, Agoraphobia.

…Yeh. Told you it was pretty long.

Mental health awareness is something that is very close to my heart, I write a lot about my own mental health both on here, twitter and also in a few guest posts for other bloggers:

Mental Health Monday’s over at Mumconventional.co.uk

I spoke about my mental health and how being a teen Mum as part of the #YoungMumsProject over at MummyandLiss.com

I believe the more we talk about it, the more we are sticking up our middle fingers to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Last year, someone decided to make it their mission to make my life hell, one of the things this person said to Ben was that people who talk about their mental health online are just attention seekers. This was the start of a long, drawn out shit storm that eventually led to me having a relapse. This comment though, is something that has stuck in my head nearly a year later, circling around my mind, popping up whenever I write about my mental health online. Do people think I’m just attention seeking? Should I stop writing about my battles with anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorder… Is that really what people think when they read my posts? §These questions have flitted about my mind ever since, periodically making me fall further behind in my recovery in the process but you know what? Talking about mental health is important. Reading honest accounts of what it’s really like to suffer with these illnesses is important. Reaching out for support is important. It makes those who struggle feel less alone, understood, valid. It’s okay not to be okay and it’s okay to talk about not being okay.

So, to that person, to those people, to that attitude  – get fucked.

Let me tell you this, opening up about mental health issues is difficult enough without dickheads like that opening their internet gobs with no thoughts at all as to what their words can do to someone who actually suffers with mental health issues.

I thought today would be a good day to address the level of wrong in this statement.

First things first, if you’ve ever said anything like that, you’re an asshole. Mental health awareness is an uphill battle without twats like that making our lives even harder by being unnecessary dickheads. Stop a second, check your self and change your attitude.

Second of all, the most important thing you can ever do when suffering inside your own mind is to talk; talk to your Mum, Dad, husband, wife, therapist, sister, brother, friend, even your cat. Hell, talk to that questionable looking stray your cat hangs out with. Anyone. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

The sigma is hard, so so hard. The way no one bats an eyelid if someone calls in sick if they’ve got the flu but somehow a bad mental health day is deemed an unacceptable reason.

This is something I have never been able to get my head around and that is the view on physical health being more important than mental health. How does that even make sense? You mental health can hinder your life as much as a physical health problem. In fact, I feel my mental health holds me back more, for the most part anyway, than my physical disability. I know that’s not going to be the same for everybody but my point is, both impact your life enough to be an equal priority.

Another huge topic of stigma related bollocks is how mental health issue are used so feely as adjectives. Incase you were wondering, mental illnesses are not adjectives. I even filmed a video about this, aptly named “Mental Illnesses Are Not Fucking Adjectives“. I feel that title is very fitting and I do go rather in depth into that topic in the video and also the blog post I wrote to go along side it.

I know I refer back to this excerpt I wrote but I just think that it needs to be said, over and over again. Shout it from the rooftops because we are all going to make it.

“YOU KNOW, I READ A TWEET THE OTHER MONTH ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE WEAK. EASY TARGETS. BUT YOU DO KNOW WHAT? WE ARE THE STRONGEST OF PEOPLE BECAUSE WE HAVE TO BE. MENTAL ILLNESSES DON’T MAKE YOU WEAKER, THEY MAKE YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO BE STRONGER. 

Brave isn’t jumping from tens of thousands of feet out of an aeroplane; brave is having to constantly fight with the very thing that keeps you alive. Every. Single. Day. It’s getting out of bed despite still being in the dark and walking out that door and carrying on with your day. Brave is staying in bed because your body and mind need that rest. It’s admitting you need help. It’s taking that bite of sandwich despite that voice in your head screaming so hard at you that your head feels like it could burst. It’s walking out that door or picking up that phone even though your heart is beating so hard you’re sure it’s going to fly out of your chest at any given moment. Brave is putting down that blade, putting down those pills or stepping down from that ledge because you are worth everything you think you aren’t.
If you are reading this and you are struggling let me tell you on behalf of me, of the people that matter to you, on behalf of everyone; you matter. You are important, you are loved and even if you can’t see that now just know that it is true and the world needs you. You are enough. Even as you are now, and every version of you in the past and the future. You have always been worth it; worth life, worth time, worth love. I am so, so glad that you are still here, still fighting, still you. There is a light and you are strong enough to make it to the shore.”

Chances are we all have been affected by mental illnesses at some point or another, whether it is yourself who is the sufferer or somebody close, the majority of people don’t get through life without it touching them in some way along the road. It is everybody’s problem. Every single one of us.

We live in a world where people choose to kill themselves instead of talk to somebody. It’s time to change.

Now, you can either be part of the problem, like nob head up above, or you can be part of the solution.

If you are currently feeling suicidal and do not feel you can keep yourself safe – please call 999.


For support:

Samarians 

Call: 116 123 (UK & ROI) (this phone line is open 24/7 and is free of charge)
Email: jo@samaritans.com

Childline 

Call: 0800 1111

This phone line is for children and young people and will not show up on phone bills.

Bullying UK

This is a website for both children and adults who are affected by bullying

Women’s Aid

Call: 0808 2000 247

This is a free 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline.

Please see this link with details on how to cover your tracks when visiting this website.

Switchboard

Call: 0300 330 0630
Email: chris@switchboard.lgbt

This is an LGBTQ+ helpline. All call handlers identify as LGBTQ+.

For other helplines please click here.

P.S You are going to make it out alive.

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