I’ve always turned to writing in the darkest times. Pain…write. Anger…write. Despair…write. So I’m laying here at 6:56 am (I have no idea why I’m up) wondering why I haven’t written in so long. I’m not in a dark place…in case you were wondering. My point being, I’ve always used writing as a coping mechanism and as a way to express myself. Am I not expressing myself? Am I not coping? 🤷🏽♀️
Writing…at times is like second nature to me. An idea comes to mind, I start to type and now here we are. Then there are times when writer’s block is a bitch.
If you haven’t been able to tell by now (read all my other post 😬), I’m not your unicorn and rainbows type of gal. I’m not a Debby downer either though… Somewhere in between I can’t believe this is happening and what’s my plan B in case shit goes left.
It’s very hard for me to settle in or accept things as they are sometimes. My mind is forever in overdrive and trying to talk myself out of just being.
May is mental health awareness month…I’ve known this but clearly it took me the whole month to decide on if I wanted to talk about it or not. Somewhere between I want to talk about it because I wish someone spoke to me about it and it’s none of anyone’s business (lol).
But I’m obviously leaning towards the first one because with everything that I write I hope someone can relate or that It could help someone.
So let me tell you about my best friend…anxiety. Definitely one of those relationships that are forced on you and now you’re stuck lol. First let me say this… I don’t “suffer” from anything…”I’ve dealt with” or “I am dealing with”…power in words.
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back I’ve dealt with anxiety for a long time. I was also very shy and I’m still somewhat very reserved. Anxiety will have you second guess things that you know to be true. Anxiety is living in the “what if” realm. It’s very hard to relax when you’re anxious…think about it. Then think about feeling ongoing anxiety. Some people only experience anxiety with significant events. Imagine being anxious about the “smallest” thing and having people tell you it’s “no big deal”, “you think too much” or my favorite one “so what” lol. Guess what? It is a big deal because I think too much and so what is a very rare answer my brain provides me with. Anxiety is probably why I’m up right now though I have no idea why I’m anxious. I have been and still sometimes avoid certain situations to avoid the anxiety that I know I’m going to feel. Overtime I’ve learned that you can’t really avoid feeling anxious, you just have to figure out how you’re going to minimize it in a situation. Control. My anxiety stems from the unknown and not being able to control certain things. When you can “control” your environment, anxiety has less “control” over you. The problem is…it’s not very often that you can control your environment completely. 🤔.
Depression…the word in itself sounds depressing. A little while ago we would never be speaking about depression. I know I wouldn’t be. Mainly because I didn’t know that what I was experiencing was depression. I’ve always thought of those times as “I’m going through some shit but it’ll pass” and it usually did but sometimes to get through it…boy
Another thing about depression is how it’s “advertised”. It’s advertised in the most generic way and yeah some people might experience it they way you see it in those nice commercials but I’d guess that most do not. That’s also why it’s hard for some people to know if or when someone else is dealing with depression.
I was depressed and functioning. I completed my “responsibilities”. I didn’t sleep all day and trust me there were many days that I would have given anything to do just that. I took care of myself physically. I still couldn’t shake it though. There were periods of time where I had no appetite, I was always tired and even though I was going to work and school, I had no desire or will to do either. Now, there’s a difference between “i don’t feel like going to work today” and “I don’t want to go to work, I need to go to work, I cannot get out of bed”. I think a main component of depression is having the “desire” or “will” to do something.
The day I admitted to myself that what I was going through was depression, I could not get out of bed. Not mentally and not emotionally…which translated to not physically. How do you explain to someone who may not have experienced what you’re experienced how you’re feeling? Or that you can’t get out of bed even though physically nothing is wrong? I didn’t know the answer then…so I didn’t explain. I showed up where I was supposed to be but I wasn’t feeling like myself. I was going through the motions. Besides some immediate ppl most people probably never knew I was depressed. I think it was a little of both…I was good at playing the game and people don’t understand or know what depression really looks like.
A lot of why mental health isn’t addressed is because of stigma. Also because mental health is not a “thing” in a lot of cultures. Having those kind of feelings to them means you need to pray or seek a higher power etc. Then there are some people who can’t fathom why you would even have feelings of depression when you have certain things…sigh. Possessions don’t always equate to lasting happiness and a lot of the time the people who have the most are still unhappy.
I say all of this to say someone dealing with mental health doesn’t have one look. People come in all different shapes and sizes. How we experience things vary. Be more mindful of the people around you. You never know what someone is dealing with.