It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay today, and you know what, having a mental illness sucks, it absolutely sucks. But you know what sucks more? Stigma. And people assuming you’re incapable of doing certain things or that you’re constantly unwell. AND people assuming that you are your mental illness, you are not. Yes at times it may feel like there is absolutely nothing else but the ‘mess’ in your head, but think if your brain is capable of creating that much hell for you then think of all the wonderful, creative, things it can also do.
I’ve said this before and I will say this a million times over if I need to, the strength it takes to get through poor mental health (or even if you’re just having a rubbish few weeks) is actually a pretty wonderful thing. Our brains are capable of protecting us, our brains are capable of dark – rubbish – things but also glorious things. And we are so much stronger than we realise, and life is going to continuously test us (whether we like it or not). We may sometimes make decisions we regret, or hate ourselves for spending hours staring out the window or hiding in our beds, knowing that what we should really be doing is ‘being happy, or just ‘getting on with things.’ I wish I knew the answer to mental illness, but I don’t think there is one. Instead we all learn different ways to cope, some healthy, some not, but we figure out what works and slowly we grasp at the slight positives and find ways to live through all the sh*t.
Faking it ‘til you make it isn’t always helpful, but sometimes talking can be difficult. I’ve experienced conversations where I wish I’d just kept quiet, it’s not easy reaching out, and here’s the plot twist, once you reach out you may have to keep reaching out and often that can feel more challenging than trying to deal with things alone. Talking takes a different type of strength, choose someone you trust, and remember they may not have all the answers but they can be there to listen, to help you in seeking the right support.
Every brain is different, but one thing that always gives me comfort is to think of all the wonderful books that have been written. All those stories that have been created, all the intricate details, it fascinates me how someone’s mind is capable of creating that, and how wonderful it is that others can experience different emotions from something created by one idea. Because that’s what we are, we are driven by ideas, by thoughts, by our minds. We just have to be brave enough to believe in them and take the time to look after our wonderfully beautiful, messy, chaotic, glorious minds.
We’ve all got brains, we’ve all got mental health, and we all need to look after our mental wellbeing.