I talk about mental health and self care a lot. It’s a favorite topic of mine, honestly. I tend to focus on self care, tools we can use to combat stress and anxiety, and affirmations that things do get better.
Occasionally, I’ll see a sarcastic meme about self care. Watch someone roll their eyes when they talk about ‘those crazy people’. Sometimes I’ll watch as someone gets lambasted because they shared something they were struggling with, watch as they are told they are just doing it for attention. I’ve been lucky that none of my friends have said it to me, but some folks apparently feel the need to be disrespectful to those who are suffering because they don’t understand.
Seeing that always breaks my heart.
I don’t talk about my anxiety to garner attention. (There is SO much more out there that should catch your attention. Seriously, if you haven’t noticed the world is in a bit of an uproar, I’m positive you can find something worthwhile to focus on. There is plenty for you to choose from.) No, I don’t talk about my struggles, my frustrations, because I want pity. I talk about it because I know so many people who suffer the same. I see it in my friends, I see it in society, I see it all throughout history. We all are dealing with anxiety, self defeating talk, self harm and a whole host of other mental health issues. By talking about my own struggles, by letting those who are currently living in the darkness of depression know I understand what they are going through, I can help them to feel less lonely.
Most people want to experience connection. Most folks just want to be understood.
I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life. But it came to a head in 2014 when I started having massive anxiety attacks. These attacks would leave me in agonizing pain and sometimes resulted in blackouts. It was a seriously scary time. Knowing I was not alone was the only thing that helped me learn my coping mechanisms, it was the only thing that kept me sane. Knowing that while I suffer, I suffer with some damn fine people and that despite their suffering they were still amazing people.
That simple realization changed my perspective on a lot of things. Suffering doesn’t make you a bad person. How you react to that suffering determines that.
So yes, I talk about my brain weasels a lot. More than I am comfortable sometimes. But if it helps, if it shines a light for someone lost in darkness to give them hope… I’ll keep talking.
For those who are suffering; You are not alone, I see you, I understand.