So, I'm not really sure how to start this post so I'll begin with why. I want to make more people aware of the things they can't see. I want for people to feel like they aren't alone and more than anything, that just because you can't see something, dons't mean it isn't there. I want to raise some awareness as it is Mental Health Week, so that you might be able to feel less alone or to reach out to someone that probably is really looking for a little bit of light in what may seem like a horribly dark place.
Mental health is something which drastically needs more attention, more thought and more understanding, especially in the run up to what may not be the most wonderful of time of the year..
Personally, in my brain, I'm good (well.. take that as you will!) But I know people that are and have been affected by mental health. Depression is one of them and it's such a huge thing. Until a few years ago I didn't really understand why or what it meant, and thanks to more and more outlets through social media and what not - I feel as though I am able to understand them in some way, and to love them more and to know what to say to them when they feel so down.
I think it's such utter bollocks that there is this 'stigma' attached to mental health. So you have eczema, oh my God! Is your hip broken? Shit - stay away from me. Whoa man, cancer, can you catch it? Let's all just be a little more understanding? Please can't we just understand that we are all in this together?
More than Depression, but seemingly less than death, I've known people that have gone so far into the world of the unknown mind to a point where you can't make out what is real, and let me tell you, it is so crippling. For everyone involved. I can't possibly tell you what it feels like for them to lose touch with reality but I can tell you how it feels to watch it. Awful. Beyond awful. You feel as though that person has gone and you may never see them again, even though they are right in front of you. Tangibility means nothing to mental health. It's obviously heart breaking to watch - but the best thing you can do, is be yourself. Remind that person ever so softly that no, it's not there, yes we do know each other, and no the aliens are not coming to tea. You have to try as much as humanly possibly to be yourself and remember, these things take time to fix.
Luckily, thanks to the will and love in this special persons heart and the occasional medication, they are fixing themselves. Getting their life back on track and it makes me feel so proud. With love and support, of course we can make anything better. I'm not saying it will go away, but I am so thankful that the worst is over.
I think that the best bit of advice, seeing as you're all queuing up for it - would be to have an open mind. Try and educate yourself as much as you can about what ever issue it is you have, or someone you know has. That way you can be better prepared to deal with it and make life a little better some days. Through better understanding we might be able to make some days more bearable and others feel less alone.
I never thought I'd say this, but it seems as though the U.S. has it together. They have mental health pegged better than most nations. They understand the severity of it and OK, fine, maybe it's not ideal to throw a billion pills at the situation, but there's something about the way that Americans deal with it, which makes it seem a lot more normal and a lot less taboo. It's like a thing at school - yeah dude, I have ADHD! Whoo me too! Right on.
So this Christmas, O come, let us be more aware. I'm gonna stop now before I get all John Lewis on you.
Here are some festive memes to lighten the mood!
Good vibes and seasons greetings X