May 2018 is Mental Health Month in the US, in the UK we only have a week from the 14th to the 20th May, a week??????
Although I think awareness events are great, we should be aware of mental health all the time. Not only the people who live with a mental illness but everyone.
I have depression, stress sensitivity and some PTSD symptoms. Some days are good, others bad and then you get the down right terrible and the bloody amazing. I can go up and down like a yo-yo.
On the good days I feel great, I’m very happy, positive and motivated to do anything. On the bad days I feel worthless, ugly and wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole.
If you have never had a mental illness it can be very difficult to understand and people can find it very frustrating, they seem to think your just a bit moody and should get over it.
It doesn’t work like that.
Coping with a mental illness can be exhausting, I don’t know if I will feel OK tomorrow or not, I just have to take each day as it comes. Certain situations can make me very depressed or anxious, I don’t avoid them, if I did that I wouldn’t live, but it can be hard to cope with a brain that just won’t shut down.
There are so many organisations out there that can help anyone with a mental illness or anyone who cares for or lives with someone with a mental illness. All of them have some form of online help or telephone access and can be contacted at anytime.
The place I go for help is the charity Mind they have a wealth of information and links that can help anyone, go have a look at their site.
Self care is essential when you have a mental illness, again, everyone should practice self care but when you have an illness of any kind, physical or mental, you should make sure to look after yourself. Learn about pacing yourself and taking time out to reflect and just be with yourself, I have found this very useful.
It has taken me a number of years to learn to pace myself and sometimes put myself first, it’s hard, as someone who feels guilty for doing what I like self care is hard. Even taking a bath however is self care, reading a book, doing some yoga, anything you like. If you enjoy it and it relaxes you do it.
Throughout May I am going to ‘attempt’ to blog each day (lets see if I can do this), although i’m warning you now, some posts may be very random indeed!
So to all of you out there look after yourselves and each other xxx