Dearest Someone, finding strength in silence and tackling my mental health are at the core of my current journey.
It really has been a long time since I’ve blogged – put it this way, I’ve had drastic changes in my life (I wanna say recovery – but I’ve never really used that term before!) Therefore I have been very hesitant to blog/share my story – in the past I’ve been fairly open when it comes to my personal journey (missing out a few bits for obvious reasons). Yet – I wonder at times if blogging about something brings it further to the surface as you worry about how others will perceive your words. I do of course realise this is silly in the sense that it is my story, my journey (cheesy) and of course I cannot really tell it wrong – however it does sometimes make me scared that others will be heavily judgmental toward the information that I share. I, fortunately, have never received any negative comments, and experience direct stigma and inappropriate behaviour in terms of my blog and my recovery – though I am aware that others have, which is why I really do strongly believe it is important to share stories of mental health tackles. I say ‘tackles’ as that really is what this journey is to me – of course issues/recovery are frequently used terms, but for me it seems blindingly obvious that over the previous twelve months I have tackled issues and I am tackling recovery.
Recovery – whatever it is – isn’t clearly defined and it certainly isn’t easy. I haven’t ever had anyone tell me that I am in recovery, though I do not suffer from addiction of any form (though food is a tricky one). I am very aware that at times I have to try very hard to be true to myself, and I am frequently in battle with my perception of self. What I find can sometimes be tricky in the battle for tackling mental health issues is everyone experiences low self-esteem at points in their life, everyone gets nervous, and everyone goes through ‘tough times,’ so sometimes I seem to grow very overwhelmed with how I am dealing with things as at times I feel it is all just in my head. Yet – that is why I keep silent at times.
And boy oh boy there is strength in silence.
Silence to me has been both the key to darkness and the core of my strength. I am one of those stereo-typical ‘keeps things to herself until they all come out at once’ kind of people, though I never thought I was. I overly talk about pointless things, such as food, animals, work etc. etc. But it’s the real nitty gritty stuff that I have always kept to myself and it’s this silence that essentially led me to my weakest moments, even though I thought I was being strong. It is an incredibly strong action to tackle your deepest struggles and don’t ever forget that – even if it’s one person you reach out to, or even if it’s accepting you need help – staying silent can (lets not beat around the bush) be life-threatening. Silence in this sense (aka: keeping everything to myself and thinking I was strong) was potentially more harmful than the traumatic events I experienced.
Strength is a strange word, there can be positive, self-actualising forms of strength, and dark, negative, destructive forms of strength and I’ve experienced both. What I have learned recently is that speaking during your darkest moments to someone you trust is an incredibly strong feat. I am ridiculously fortunate to be surrounded by an exceptional bunch of people – who overwhelm me pretty much every day with their kindness and attitudes.
I cannot express how thankful I am to have one particular person whom I am able to sit in silence with yet be saying all that I need to say – I never thought I would ever be that comfortable in expressing my mental health struggles, or that comfortable to ask for help. Having this individual in my support network means I can stay silent to others whilst remaining strong and dealing with my issues. I can count on this person – and knowing that I am able to speak to this person (even if I have to wait a few days) is pretty much imperative to my mental health at the moment. I am fairly open about my struggles, yet at times I don’t want to be. I don’t feel inclined to share my story however I’ve known that there have been times where if I hadn’t opened up I would have embarked upon a pretty self-destructive path. It feels great to be able to stay silent about aspects again, and know that I am strong enough to deal with certain things, and know that I have support. I feel like I am less of a burden, and that is one thing that I have struggled with a lot over the past year.
To sum up as I’m rambling now – things have turned pretty crap recently, but I am stronger than ever (cheesy). And I have incredible people in my life!