It’s a strange thing being open and honest with everyone about your struggles.
Especially when those struggles are something that still hold a lot of stigma – like mental health. It’s strange, anxiety provoking, overwhelming and sometimes scary!
So why do I share my mental health story?
Because it can also be so so rewarding!
It is hard when you’ve spent nearly your entire life hiding your struggles, covering them up, lying! To suddenly open up and lay yourself bare for all to see (read) pretty scary I’m sure you’ll agree.
I am asked a lot “Why do you do it?” “Why do you talk about everything?” “Don’t you worry what others are thinking/saying about you?”
Well thanks to my BPD (borderline personality disorder) I am an all or nothing kind of person. I either tell you everything or I keep it all inside – which I have come to realise made me so poorly in the first place.
Also, for all of those years that I struggled I never had anyone to turn to. No one to talk to who would understand. No one to say “Me too. You’re not alone!” No body that I could relate to at all. I guess I want to be that person I wish I had.
I really want people to know it’s ok. It’s ok to feel the things that you do, you are not alone.
I get angry!
I have horrendous mood swings!
I get very low and depressed!
I starve myself!
I obsess about silly things.
I have anxiety attacks.
I have attempted suicide!
Whether someone relates with one thing or all of them it’ll hopefully leave them with a feeling of – I am not alone!
I am still being let down repeatedly by my mental health team. Left with no care at all now for months, so I am far from recovered. I have a lot of therapy I know I need to do – I am determined to get better. I do a lot of self help work from home like reading books and doing therapy workbooks. I also do yoga and practice mindfulness which all helps but it’s a far cry from the professional therapy that I need.
I suppose sharing my story has been a bit of therapy at times as it has really helped me. I love to write and I have for as long as I can remember. Even if no one read my work I would still write. I really do love that it helps others and that’s sometimes what keeps me going in those difficult times.
I have been so lucky and have had some incredible feedback over the years. Two of which stand out most for me, I won’t disclose any personal information but what I will say is that these two separate individuals emailed me to say that they had been online researching the best way to end their lives. They’d made that decision and they were searching for the best way (exactly as I did). In their Google search my blog posts on suicide came up. They read them and decided, after reading them that they were not going to follow through with their plans. After reading my posts they were going to do that incredibly difficult thing and fight. Fight these illnesses that force us to believe we are better off dead! They were going to fight and stay alive!
And people ask why I am so open and honest in my blogs?! There is your answer right there!
I am not naive. I know things online aren’t all wonderful and positive and I have been subjected to some very nasty trolling in the past but I won’t let that stop me. They’ve clearly got their own issues to deal with so I delete and move on. I’ve got enough of my own issues thank you very much!
I do, still get anxious about posting online, especially when it’s about a really tough time or about my PND and my boys. But I try to remind myself of those two emails and the other people that I might help and it helps me hit that publish button.
I really feel so passionately about making a change with the mental health care in this country. Myself and a close friend have set up our own charitable organisation to help mothers access mental health care and support whilst getting care for their children. It’s called Clear Mind Happy Child and I will do a blog about it soon but if you’d like to know more or donate please click here. We would be incredibly grateful.
I intend to keep fighting. For my own mental health yes, but for others too. I want there to be a day when people don’t call me brave for sharing my story. But it’s normalised and ok for everyone and anyone to say they are struggling and receive adequate care!
Mental health is just as important as physical health, no matter what our minds try to tell us.
Stay strong and keep fighting.
Lots of love,