Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Today is World Mental Health Day - its important to think about that a moment

Today is World Mental Health Day. You have probably noticed an abundance of meaningful quotes on social media today, as everyone does their bit to share awareness.

Celebrities have been out in force, giving their support for the cause and its all fabulous. But is it? Isn't it truly awful that we so many of us have to go through this. Personally, I found my experience of mental health, to be frank, bloody well terrifying.

I am not for one second suggesting that its bad that everyone is supporting this cause. What I find more scary than my own experience, is my newfound awareness of just how many of use have to go through this. I had no idea it was so common place, or worse, so likely to happen. Nobody warned me - I literally had no clue what the hell was happening to me.

My own issue, was with anxiety. For some its depression, or addiction, or bi-polar, or any combination of the above, or its vertigo, or its agoraphobia - so many variations. Anxiety, or so I thought, was getting nervous for an event - like an interview or exam. I was entirely unprepared for it.

For the first weeks of my experience, I was utterly and completely in denial. There was just no way I was going to accept it was happening to me. Not to me - I was tough, I was strong, I was resilient. Yes I was, but I also had anxiety. Quite a serious case of it too.

Had I been prepared, had I known the symptoms, had I known anything about what I could possibly to do manage it, combat it, beat it, live with it I might not have battled against acceptance for as long as I did. What I felt like was a failure, that there was something wrong with me, that I was weak.

I no longer think this way, as moving through it, like trying to walk through thick mud, and learning along the way, I have come out the other side with a different view of mental health completely.

It doesn't just happen to other people, its not something you can avoid, and its not a weakness. We should all talk about it. Its nothing shameful, yet sometimes it feels it is. What we should do is make everyone aware of what it is, what it means, and how to live with it.

Simple things like exercise can help enormously. Telling people you are having a bad day so they understand. Not being alone with it. Accepting it. So here is to everyone out there, those currently going through it, those who have been through, those that are living with it or around it, or those that have yet to experience it. We all need to be aware of this issue as its as common as a cold.

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