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The month of May is all about mental health awareness. I like to blog about mental health because I think there is still so much stigma surrounding it. It’s widely misunderstood and still discriminated against.
How many times have you heard someone say, she’s ‘crazy’ or hear a friend complain about someone having mood swings at work? I get it, mental health is difficult. It’s difficult for those who are experiencing it and those who surround them.
The truth is, there’s such a broad umbrella of behaviours, I think you could argue we all suffer from mental health issues at some point.
Often we judge others instead of accepting them because it’s easier to do…
For those suffering with mental health issues, life can feel perplexing and hopeless. Simple mistakes become huge mistakes. Most days feel overwhelming. Getting out of bed can feel like climbing a mountain.
People who don’t suffer from mental health issues may see them as lazy or impossible to motivate. They often meet these actions with anger which in turn creates another set of problems.
They begin to internalise guilt and shame, they self loath. This may lead to substance abuse such as alcoholism or drug abuse to self medicate, and the cycle goes on…
The truth is 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in the UK.
Since the pandemic this has undoubtedly been higher. So why is there still so much stigma surrounding the issue?
Perhaps it has to do with tradition?
We raised men to be strong and that boys don’t cry. We taught women it was wrong to get hysterical. We watched America fight a war on drugs without looking at the people who were most effected by drug abuse. We failed to understand that addicts are sick and need help.
Systematically we raised our kids to be like everyone else, don’t show weakness or chinks in your armour. We cared more about what the neighbours thought than looking after our inner thoughts. We stopped listening to impulses and what we wanted, for example we’re hungry but we wont eat because we want to look good.
I would like to put this out there today that we need to readdress our thoughts on mental health. We need to understand that some of us are more emotional than others. Some of us are fighting invisible battles. Some of us think differently. Some of us find it hard to trust others.
When you take the time to understand where all of this behaviour comes from, it makes you question your response to it because you begin to understand that the very concept of being ‘strong’ is a weak one.
It’s a system we have had in place for many years and it has shown that time and time again, it is flawed.
Instead we need to concentrate on our own mental health and learn to take care of ourselves. Move away from societies traditions and look at what makes us strong.
Inner strength stems from self love, so lets talk positively about ourselves and learn to love all of our flaws, for what is creativity without emotion? Or talent without contrast?
A poem about mental health…
I’ve always been a dreamer,
A wild kind of don’t believe the hype type,
Wandering through this life,
A zephyr with a zesty temper,
I believe in kindness, I desire for so much,
Someone told me once that you can’t bottle the changing seasons,
And that you should look for life’s deeper meanings,
Sometimes I forget that I hold all of this power,
If you let them, people will take it from you, or worse than that, they fake it,
Imagine that? Pretending to be an entirely different person?
That sounds exhausting.
So you look after your own energy, but that’s being selfish.
Listen to yourself, what are you saying?
I say, ‘ I think i’m a bit crazy.’
So when life gets tough, I like to keep hidden,
But the truth is, if you hide away,
People will fill in the blanks,
They start to tell you who you are,
And then you get into all sorts of trouble.
You start to believe what they think you are instead of what you are not…
That’s when you need to take a long hard look in the mirror.
One day, I’ll meet someone that’ll show me people can be different.
Until then I choose to listen. Not to others, but to what I have to say.
I talk to myself kindly so that I can shine brightly.
I feel the anxiety and that I am not good enough,
Of feeling never quite right.
And when the waves of darkness wash over me I get up,
And I choose to fight…