This blog is somewhat difficult for me to write as it is very close to home. Although I feel I need to do it as there are many people out there in this position. A few encouraging words some times can strengthen even the most independent of us.
Two words. Mental health. What does that mean to you?
It could be a friend who has mentioned a diagnosis in passing and you never fully knew what they meant. It could be a family member who you’ve watched suffer with pain in your eyes. It could be you….. Yes, it could be you. At any point. Scary isn’t it?
While there are many mental health issues, disorders, syndromes and symptoms, they all group together in the same bracket and make the sufferer’s (and their loved ones) lives painful and difficult. Sometimes, non existent.
If you are living your life around a mental health problem, I take my hat off to you! It is not easy. It is frightening and it is tiresome. Your physical health may also be affected either by your mental health or vice versa, as a lot of the time they come hand in hand together, like terrible twins. The stress of a mental issue can be and is directly linked to an array of physical health problems. When the muscle/ organ that conducts your entire body is sick, is it any wonder your body can end up sick as well?
Every day tasks are much more difficult than they should be. Therefore this makes our bigger tasks, somewhat impossible at times. Things aren’t as enjoyable as they should be and you tend to drop out of things you ordinarily would take part in…. we mustn’t do this. No matter how bad we feel. It always seems impossible, until it is done.
A mental health problem can affect absolutely every aspect of your life. Work, family, intimate relationships, friendships, hobbies, concentration, driving, self esteem, parenting, getting over past hurts, forgiveness, money, housework, appearance, memory, jealousy, inferior or superior complexes, the list is endless.
Many past greats have suffered with a mental health problem at some point. Marylin Monroe, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Angelina Jolie, Barbara Streisand, Catherine Zeta Jones, Ray Charles….. the list goes on. They are testament to the fact that we mustn’t falter if we are struggling with something of the mind. The mind can lie to us and tell us things that aren’t there. It can lead us to believe we are less than what we are and that we have less ability than we do. We cannot let this affect us in a way that will damage our lives. It’s just simply untrue. I once read a quote in a book that rang very true to me and I have often went back to read if I was feeling inadequate.
“Dwarfs can often do the work of giants when they are transformed by the almost magic power of great mental concentration. But giants will only do the work of dwarfs when they lack this power.” (The Power of Contention, Theron Q. Dumont)
Something I noticed when doing my research about famous people with mental illness, is that a highly large number of comedians have or do suffer from depression or manic depression (bipolar). This to me wasn’t shocking unfortunately, as I have always believed laughter and humour to disguise emotional pain. It is said that the person who laughs more than they should or for no reason at all, is the saddest of us all. It’s a front and a coping mechanism. Do you know anyone like this?
What I must point out to those who suffer or who have a loved one who does, is that knowledge is power. We cannot expect to overcome something if we don’t know what we are dealing with. We must know our enemy and take it down at its weakest point.
We owe it to those we love to watch out for their struggles, whether emotional or physical. So many people are no longer with us due to the fact they felt they were alone. Where they may not have been in real life, many people feel they fight alone when it comes to their mind. The taboo keeps people at arms length when all they crave is help and understanding. I for one find this incredibly heartbreaking.
Keep the faith guys, life is a journey and none of us get out alive anyway 😉
Be good to yourselves
Alana Faith 🎍