Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Importance of Speaking about your Struggles | MHAW18

Today is Sunday and therefore, we have reached the last day and last post for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, I thought that I would finish on such an important topic; speaking out which can be one of the most beneficial things you do regarding your mental state.

Despite having this blog, where I openly talk about not only Mental Health, but also my struggles, this wasn't always the case. I spent years being silent, stuck inside of my own head, too afraid to speak up. I didn't even properly know myself what was going on, I just knew that I didn't want to feel this way anymore, I wanted a way out, and in my eyes, the only way out was Suicide. I was worried that if I spoke out, people would just say that it was a phase, or that I was attention seeking but the reality was, that staying silent only made things worse. I can't express enough how true the well known phrase of bottling things up, will only make it worse is, Mental Illness is difficult enough to manage as it is, with support, let alone without telling anybody else what is going on. 

I wish more than anything that I spoke up sooner, that I did more research and that I recognised how I felt, for how serious it was. If I had spoken up, I would have been able to start moving forward when I first became ill, instead of my illness escalating and spiraling out of control. If I had spoke sooner and gotten the support that I needed early on, I may be in a complete different place to what I am today, my life could be so different. However, the reality is that like many other individuals struggling, I didn't speak up and I'm not sure if I would have, if I didn't get to a point where I was forced to explain myself because after all, landing yourself in hospital for trying to kill yourself, isn't normal, and there is clearly something wrong.

There is so much awareness for Mental Health problems nowadays, there is so much encouragement to speak up, yet there is still so much silence and fear, but I promise you, that speaking up is so worth it in the long run, when you share a problem with somebody else, it is a problem halved and it is such a weight off of your shoulders. It gives you the opportunity to access services, to see a specialist regularly, to engage in different therapies and to start working towards a better life. It improves your relationships with the people around you and you'll soon realise that more people understand you than you even thought was possible, you'll realise that you're not alone in your struggles and that a future without illness is so possible, that happiness is something that can be achieved and that life is worth living, it just takes time. Time is one of the most frustrating things because no matter how quickly the weeks, months and years go by, it feels as though your mindset is taking an eternity to improve, but keep plodding along, because you'll get to a point where you're making so many little steps, that you'll look back and realise how far you really have come. 

Speaking up is not only important for yourself, it is important for your family and friends to be able to support you, it helps to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness and it gives you the opportunity to make a change, to yourself and to the world. There is no shame in speaking out, there is no shame of being in therapy, and there is absolutely no shame in suffering from a Mental Health Condition.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

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