A day to help raise awareness, to fight the stigma, to show the world that you are not a problem, you are a person fighting to stay afloat.
For people living with mental health issues and their loved ones, it’s extremely important to draw attention to the fact that, just because someone struggles with mental health issues, doesn’t mean they should be defined by it.
I’ve been living and struggling with a few mental health issues my entire life. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) is the biggest one. That one has controlled my youth and life so far. Although, I have to say I’ve been coping very well over the past 17 years and have only had one major relapse a few years ago. Recently, I discovered I also have HSP, which opened up a whole new world for me. And when these 2 meet, I tend to get anxiety attacks now and again. When there are too many triggers, too many disappointments or too much negative energy, my heart starts racing and I stop thinking rationally and start panicking.
I’ve become so much stronger, so much more self-reliant.
I take Prozac and take care to remove myself from harmful situations. But I still struggle once in a while. And that’s only natural.
I still feel there are a lot of people who don’t or won’t understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. You have no idea how many times I’ve had people tell me to just get a grip, get over it, let it go, don’t take it so personally. Why can’t I just be happy? I have everything to be happy: a great job, a beautiful family, friends. What’s the deal? Why am I so sad?
Well, my brain doesn’t work that way. Just like you can’t tell someone to just get over the flu. Or to just get your body to make more insulin. Well, mine doesn’t make enough serotonin. It’s not something I can control. My brain also reacts differently in certain situations, like in crowded, noisy places or when people are angry or negative around me.
Triggers. So many triggers.
I wish everyone around me would understand this and accept me for who I am, faults and all. But I’ve had to realise that’s never going to happen. Some people aren’t open to it. They don’t want to understand. And I have to accept that. But it’s so hard. Because, as a BPD sufferer, I need everyone to like me. You either love me or hate me, black or white. There is no grey area. Now, I do realise there are grey areas in life. But I have to be reminded of it constantly. I have to accept those grey areas. Learn to live with them. Let go of those feelings of being misunderstood. That’s why I write these posts. To help myself let go. (And secretly, I hope the people who don’t understand me, will read them and have an epiphany…though, I realise they’re also the last people to actually wanna read this.) That’s also why I feel it’s important to keep talking about this. I suppose I’d like to call myself a mental health advocate (albeit on a small scale).
Lately, I’ve been on a downer again. Fall weather, cold, rain, darker days, they don’t help. I’m very prone to seasonal depression. Theatre has always been my go-to therapy (besides actual therapy). It helps me let go. It lets me escape daily life for a few hours a week. But at the moment, it’s not helping either. Maybe it’s because I’m playing a psychopath? Maybe I’m afraid to let go completely and get lost in it? Who knows.
Maybe I need to slow down a bit.
Take a rest once in a while. I try to listen to my body, but it’s not always that easy, with a 7-year-old running around with all her extracurricular activities, night school, rehearsals, teaching (well assisting) youth theatre, workouts twice or 3 times a week, work, etc. I’m getting anxious just reading this list. But that’s why it’s so important to listen to what your body is telling you, it knows what you need, physically and mentally. And good mental health is just as important as good physical health.
Take care of yourself!