ooO get me being all sweary from the outset! Well this blog post is personal. I just really want to put this out there.
Mental health. We are all encouraged to talk about it, but many of us don’t know how much about it, be it our own or a friend/relatives. And no one wants to be the one to ask a question.
I was writing this blog in my head on the way home this evening, bought on by things that have happened recently, and I guess I just want to put it all down. To try and help people, as a cathartic exercise, and well, you know what it is my blog and if I want to write about me, I will 🙂
So many of my friends suffer from mental illness in one form or another, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, personality disorders, manic episodes, depression, PTSD – I could, but won’t go on. You get the picture, and because one of my stronger personality traits is laziness, you can do your own research on the matter – and draw your own conclusions.
You know the Robin William’s quote, those saddest on the inside try hardest to stay positive on the outside.. it is true for me. I have recently started a new job, which an insane workload, and a massive about of pressure. It has been commented on that I manage to stay upbeat and am not showing signs of stress. Yeah, you guessed it. I am one of those people who internalise. Everything. I don’t like to let the side down, or appear unable, or give people an extra problems. There is often a maelstrom of conflicting emotions rushing around, be it stress, a manic episode, sadness – the emotions are always extreme but i try and project a positive vibe. Of course I can do that, yes that is amazing, no I don’t mind doing that for you, no, of course you pushing me out of the way isn’t a problem. Smile, and the world smiles with you.
Like many people, I suffer from social anxiety, but am a people pleaser, I want to say yes to everything. I want to remain positive. I don’t want to let people down. But 2015 was an odd year, where there were plenty of good things, toward the end of the year, I found myself floundering, and had a massive anxiety attack and had to take some time out – my partner was away, and I pretty much locked myself away for 4 days. I didn’t mention it to anyone, I frankly lied about what had happened to everyone. I didn’t actually seek any help, I am sliding along a tightrope hoping that I can stay on top of it.
I haven’t admitted what happened really, to more that 3 people. Even my partner isn’t really aware of how bad it has got. Because, I don’t like admitting to weakness, and certainly when I am not sure how to deal with it. I am a logical person, and a problem solver. But where i can’t really see an end to the situation, and don’t feel talking will really help…. I have never in my life wanted to stay at home so badly. I even admitted nothing would make me happier than staying at home and looking after the cat. A stay at home cat mother is a thing, isn’t it? I sound glib, I don’t mean to be, something in side me was telling me to remove myself from a situation and someone in the grey matter, this was the solution.
I told 3 friends, together in an email – we are all close and it just … popped out in an email conversation. We don’t see each other as much as we used to – and it had gone from my constant organising and pulling together, planning to retreating a little and being unwilling – I don’t know if they noticed and I won’t ask. Cans of worms are not always made to be opened. I felt really bad when I blurted out my problems to the girls, because it is my burden, why should others have to deal with it. I ended up with private emails from all three, and I was crying – or trying not to cry because they are so supportive.
2015 was not a good year for my group of aforementioned friends, all 4 of us have gone through something. This isn’t my legitimising MH. Your mental health is important – it is important to realise when your are being stretched, when you need to take a break. Listen to your body, to your mind. Talk to people, you will find that people will be able to offer more support, advice, and experience.
I do think that we need to talk about it more. Not so everyone gets more worried about what they can and can’t say to their friends and family. I think that being more honest is healthier – it means that we can all be more understanding of our extended family, of people we meet. We all go through shit, we don’t always know how to deal with it. But having people who we can vent to, talk to, who we can admit defeat to. And something else before I sign off as I have realised how long this blog has gotten – this does not make you a weaker person. That is what it comes down to with me. I am always the first to offer help and support and the last to ask/accept. But admitting you aren’t coping, or need help, or just a break. It doesn’t detract from you as a whole. It really doesn’t.