World Mental Health Day

Today is one of those many days (and it is much more people realise) when my mind wants to do so much but my body can’t.

Just attempting to have a bath and wash my hair was too much and after finishing that without bruising anything I was done. In my head I’m shouting ‘No please, I can’t. I can do it, I can. Oh, I wish. (Screaming inside but brave face to the outside) #justkeeponswimming

I know the reality, I do, I guess just sometimes I wish for one moment I could be free. Coming to terms with a life changing and life long illness, that comes with life threatening complications and secondary conditions isn’t an overnight thing. It’s a lifetime one, a long winding rollercoaster with a hundred falls but many highs too but one we keep going on as the good days are worth everything. The ones you hold on for, fight for, to keep on swimming towards.

I’ve got a lot going on at the minute and sometimes it gets so overwhelming. Some days I can do a lot, sometimes a little and other times like today I’m just getting through, just trying to stay alive, stay stable, and keep this body on track (which is a full time 24/7 job in itself) but also mentally it takes its toll too.

A lot of that is so often behind the scenes and I smile and keep going, do what I can and get through the day, one day at a time. But as it’s World Mental Health Day Today I think it’s important to say I’m not always okay and today I’ve not been. I mean none of us always are let’s be honest? We just don’t talk about it enough. We’re all too good at putting on those smiles, those masks and hiding our real answers to that question ‘How are you today?

Sound familiar?

We can talk about physical illness anytime and most of us will happily listen and empathise but somehow when mental illness is brought up it feels trapped inside this bubble of ‘taboo’, why? All our organs are important and when they start to fail or something goes wrong we go to our friend, our family, our doctor and they listen and make a plan. Why not our brains? Our minds? Is that not as critical? Our brain does a million and one things every single day and yet when mental illness comes along and the mind is struggling to cope how do some people react?

– It’s all in your head/your making it a up/making a scene/wanting attention

– Come on just be happy 

– Just push through it 

– Just get over it and get on with it

– Men don’t talk/men don’t cry 

If you fell in the street and broke your ankle strangers would stop and ask if your okay? They would most likely call an ambulance. Imagine if when the paramedics came they said to you..

‘Oh it’s just a bit hurt and bruised you’ll be fine, just push through it. Just push through it. 

How would that feel? I imagine mad, that would never happen I mean there’s an injury to your ankle right? Well so is there with mental illness, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean there is nothing there.

I fight a horrible incurable condition that is a physical illness and many complications from it. But I also fight my own mental health too and that is a massive battle to be fighting daily as well. 1 in 4 of us will suffer a mental health problem. Do I deserve treatment and support for my physical illness? Yes.

Do I deserve treatment and support for my struggles with mental health too?

The answer should be yes and you’d hope it would be 100% but it isn’t and that needs to change. You can help though, you really can. Just taking the time to read this blog is helping. If you can share this that means one person might read this and that for one might raise a bit more awareness but two if they are struggling themselves it might remind them and you that your not on your own. A text, a message or a call to someone who is struggling can make the world of difference so never be afraid to reach out. I know personally how much of a difference it makes.

It’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to talk, to cry and to reach out, you may think no one cares but I promise someone does. 

You are worthy, you do matter and whether you’re fighting a physical illness, a mental illness or both it doesn’t matter which, they all deserve care, treatment and support and personally I will never stop fighting for that as I know when I was at my lowest and someone reached out to me it meant the world and ultimately gave me hope again. I may have felt alone but in reality there was more people who cared than I could have imagined, I just needed to make that first step.

World Mental Health Day, together we can make a difference.

One thought on “World Mental Health Day

  1. Extremely well said Ruth. I can relate to this too…it shouldn’t be taken for granted that if you smile on the outside you smile on the inside…not can put on that smile but inside you are being torn apart x

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