Everyone has untold stories and I will not apologise for mine.
As time goes on I find my anxiety easier to talk about, easier to understand and easier to manage. I’m not scared of how it makes me feel anymore, and I try not to let the bad days consume me. The hardest part for me is knowing and choosing who to confide in, when to speak up and admit I’m having a “bad day” or admit I’m not coping. Certainly not now I’m a mum. What would people think and how would that make me look as a parent.
The biggest issue we have in society these days is people aren’t knowledgeable enough to even begin to understand the complexity of it all if they’ve never suffered. And there are no allowances for mental health in deemed happy people. I’m referring to the ones that wear the smile and voice the big voices. So is it easier all together to avoid the conversation if someone “seems” ok.
One of my biggest downfalls is my high expectations of people. How would I handle the knock back and disappointment if I laid all my cards on the table and someone responded with “man up” or “everyone has those days” How would that sit within my head or effect me when I’ve just bottled up the courage to speak out?
Do people really care and would people really understand? This is why anxiety is deemed such a lonely state, everyone copes and suffers in different ways and sometimes the happiest and most smiley people are the saddest. And people shouldn’t be so quick to assume.
I had my first panic attack in 2010, the weight of my little world became too much and I allowed it to consume me. And since then to this day I have always struggled with my mental health. Fuelled and worsened by events and people in my life that have destroyed me, stripped me of my dignity and forever damaged my self esteem.
I will not apologise for who I am, or how my life has been shaped by mental health. I will not apologise for being sensitive or expecting too much of those around me. I will not apologise for my “miserable” face or mood on those bad days ,nor will I apologise for my ability to not trust when I have been so let down. People in your life should be a cause of reducing stress not causing more of it. So evaluate the ones who make you feel a certain way.
Don’t ever feel bad for making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You’re responsible for your own. And anyone who wants to live in misery for their happiness should not have been in your life to begin with.
I get up every morning because I am lucky my heart is beating and I have two men in my life who depend on me. But boy I wish they knew how much I depended on them. They are the sunshine to my grey skies but when you become a mother you are no longer the centre of your own universe. So the bad days are just filled with guilt that you aren’t coping or doing a good job.
The issue is people need to break the stigma that physical health conditions need more support, empathy and compassion than mental health conditions. And until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes don’t be so quick to judge. That’s so easy to do. Think outside of your everyday box, be kind, spread love, speak up, make time and open your eyes. Through judging we separate, through understanding we grow.
Every face wears a mask and a smile is the most formidable mask life has to offer.
Anxiety comes in all shapes, sizes, bodies and personalities so thank you to those around me who know my struggles, never pass judgement and love me for me. Especially Adam. Who demonstrates daily that when love is real it’s effortless.
Facts for thought on #Mentalhealthawareness day.
#icrybecause I want to be loved and accepted for who I am.