So, technically the day for talking about this was the 1st of Feb, but I was working that day. So, close enough.
Mental Health, is a completely stigmatised subject. With people passing around misinformation every single day. Such as, oh you just need more exercise. Exercise may help some people, not all. A lot of people who suffer from mental health issues are unable to leave the home due to it. Others are fit healthy and active people. A level of fitness does not mean a level of better mental health. If exercise helps you, go do it, just don’t assume your way fixes everyone.
Another one I hate is, oh you just need to keep busier. It will take your mind off things. You just sit around at home thinking too much. Get a hobby! I currently work part-time in a cafe, as I can’t get full-time hours anywhere right now. I also volunteer in not one, but two drama groups rehearsing three days a week. I write, blog and run the promo for other authors. You can see on my work pages how many stories and books I plan for the coming 18 months. I also am soon to start volunteering to help kids with dyslexia into writing. I also support a friends daughter who wants to get into writing. I run advise and support for various friends with mental health issues as well. I tend to be on the go for around 16-18 hours three days a week, sometimes four. Then around 12 hours another 2-3. Leaving just one day to catch up on chores like washing, cooking, ironing and actually sleep. You know what? I am still depressed as hell. Yes, being busy takes your mind off it in the moment. However, when that door closes at night and you are alone. The loneliness and sadness hit you. Leaving you exhausted and crying all night. I am lucky if I sleep 3-4 hours a night, and even then I wake up constantly with bad dreams. Again, if being busy helps you then do it. Doesn’t work for everyone!
Then, of course, there is the one I often rant about. Love yourself or no one else will. The most offensive, triggering and heartbreaking piece of stigma out there. Telling someone who already feels like they are a burden and everyone is better off dead without them, that they will never achieve any form of love until they can throw that away and be a pretty shiny happy fake person. That is enough to send most people off the edge! The last time it was said to me, I withdrew from everyone for over a month over the festive season. Barely speaking to anyone, after all. They won’t ever care for me, so what’s the point. It just makes a person feel even more broken, worthless and a lost cause.
Please never, ever say those words to someone mentally ill! They can’t help who they are, they can’t help how they feel and trust me when I say. Most of them would do anything to not feel that way!!To be normal!! Real love, that is unconditional. No dramas, no excuses, no do this and I will love you bs. Just love them, anyway. However, they feel that day, support them and help them get back to the better days! Don’t shout at them and make them feel worse. Don’t talk over them and act disinterested when they try and tell you what is wrong. Even if it is a silly little thing. It may be a silly thing to you, but for them, it could be the final straw in a million things leading up to the point which is now why they are crying their eyes out. Just LISTEN to them! Make them feel that it is okay to talk to you, to let it out. Not keep hiding it and faking all the time.
I have been attacked before for being pro-suicide by so-called friends who then systematically decided to destroy my life and everything I cared about and still troll me nearly six months on. Trying to force me into killing myself. I am not pro-suicide, I never was. However, I understand why sometimes it feels like the only answer. Even if it isn’t. I have been suicidal due to abuse since I was nine years old. I have attempted more times than I care to count. The largest of those attempts being April last year. Where I ended up in the hospital for a short while. Every single time, it felt like I was backed into a corner with no other form of escape and no one I could turn to for advice or assistance. Every time, it felt like the logical answer. it wasn’t an emotional response if anything it was cold and emotionless. I want to end the pain, I can’t end the pain and still live. The meds don’t work for me, I have tried dozens over the years. The most I can do is take the odd herbal calming potion.
For those who say seek help, again not always that easy. I have been to countless therapists over the years. Not one has ever helped. Most don’t want me because I am not a simple ‘Oh Brad cheated on me, I want to die’ case. I have a lifetime of abuse to deal with and that takes time. Others tell me just to fake being happy and the worst told me I am too broken to ever be fixed. That I will constantly attempt to take my own life until I actually do it. That was the last day I ever went to therapy.
I still have suicidal thoughts every single day of my life. Some days they are easy to ignore, the good days. The days where I have people reach out to me, be kind. Or I have a day at work without dramas. Or I get to read in a part at a theatre. Or a rehearsal goes really well. Or I manage to help someone. I love those days.
Then there are the okayish days, where I stay quiet to myself and just try to get on with things. And the really not good days, like yesterday. When my friend betrayed my trust again, and let me down for something really important. Making it all my fault for being upset. Even though it was the second time in a few days they had done the same thing, and I have a very fast upcoming deadline on what they were meant to be helping with. Upset I reached out to four people. One told me to love myself or no one else will and shouted at me. That person is no longer in my life. Another talked over me and didn’t listen, I am annoyed with them. Two, very kindly sat up with me talking until I could manage the evening, thank you both. Even so, I am still in bed today. Trying to let go of the shakes, the panic attacks and the tears that come from a bad day. Today, I had things to do. Today, I cannot face those things. Sometimes, you just have to give in and admit that you can’t function on a certain day and cut what you had to do in half and just attempt some little part of it.
My mental health has cost me friends, family and lovers. At the end of the day, I can’t help what they do. I can only try to be the best me I can be on each and every day. Even if that best me that day, is the one crying in bed over a tub of ice cream. I can’t change who I am, or what I am to please others. No one with mental health issues can. Try to understand that this illness is much more complex than you think. It can affect anyone, at any time or any reason.
Just be kind!
At the end of the day:
This Is Me