It’s Mental Health Awareness week. What does that mean to you?
Well, it made me think about what mental health means to me. The more I thought, the more I felt that if you can contribute to “normalising” mental health, you should try. Even if it’s just a little, it may give some one else strength.
Because that’s the point, right? To try and make sure no one feels that they’re alone experiencing these struggles.
So hey, I’m absolutely no expert – but I’m a 23 year-old girl who’s reminded daily of mental health, whether it’s relating to myself, my friends or my family.
The reason I’m writing this isn’t because I’m some celebrity or ‘internet-influencer’ with millions of followers (obviously.) I’m writing this because hopefully I’m somewhat ‘normal’ to you. I’m accessible. I’m a friend, a family member or just someone you interact with daily, weekly, monthly or maybe just through Facebook.
I guess, for me – it means more to read a friend’s experience than a celebrity’s. That isn’t to diminish their story in any way, it just feels more relatable.
Before I continue, I do want address that I feel extremely lucky to be able to rationalise with any dark or negative thoughts I have. Many people can’t. Many people can’t compete with depression, anxiety or eating disorders, as much as they wish they could. I think it’s important to understand that difference.
But, my point is – I have had those days. Those days where I’ve felt so alone, worthless, completely unloved and suicidal. It’s terrifying.
And yes, most days I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet, surrounded by the most supportive and loving friends and family. However, that doesn’t mean I’m superior to those bad days or scary thoughts.
Things can look great on the exterior, in public and on social media, but no one is invincible.
I genuinely love my life, my friends and my family. I know I’m very lucky and I’m so grateful for what I have. But there are thousands (millions…probably billions) of people out there battling mental health every day, every hour.
If you’re lucky enough to have not had negative experiences with mental health, be aware that others have. Never assume all is good in someone’s life. Think twice about what you say, how you say it – you can never know what’s going on inside someone’s head, however well you know them.
If someone trusts you enough to reach out to you, just listen – don’t judge.
To those struggling, try and find someone you can confide in. My whole life, even from early school days, I’ve always been surrounded by friends fighting mental health. I know it’s not as simple as this, but my Mum always said,
“A problem shared is a problem halved.”
So, if you’re still here and reading, I’ve got a little favour to ask. If this blog relates to you even in the slightest, or if you’ve struggled with mental health in the past or present, please comment a blue heart emoji under this Facebook post.
If you can be brave enough to post a little blue heart, my idea should demonstrate that there are more people closer to you who have, or still are, fighting mental health. Probably more than you realise.
This post wasn’t to give advice or to broadcast my experiences, but to try and open up a conversation. Hopefully I’m a relatable example to you that it’s ok to not be ok. You’re not alone.
Anyways, thank you for reading. This was hard to write and post as it’s obviously such a sensitive subject. But, even if one person reading this feels a little peace of mind or reassurance, then hey – it was worth it.