Sometimes, I find myself hiding the truth about how I’m feeling. I have my “happy face” on, I’m keeping busy and getting on with life. But inside, I’m screaming. Inside, I’m falling apart. Inside, hides a whole other story….
Mental health is unpredictable. Medication is great, but doesn’t always cover all bases. Sometimes cracks begin to appear, and the medicine just don’t fill them in quite enough. How much sleep I get, plays a massive part in how mentally well I am. I’m one of those people, who needs a decent 8 hours a night. But it’s very rare it actually happens. Some nights, my mind just won’t switch off. I wake up frequently, without knowing why. Other nights, it’s little miss waking that robs me of sleep. I can tolerate it for a while, and run on empty for longer than I should. Even when my body aches, my brain feels like it’s been through a blender, and I feel like utter shit, I just keep going. Like I’m on auto-pilot or cruise control. Some days I honestly don’t know how I do it, I just do. Fuelled mostly by caffeine, and totally winging all aspects of life! When I finally crawl into bed after a long and testing day, I feel like I could stay there for days on end. Hiding under the covers, pretending I’m invisible. Just wanting to sleep, and sleep, and sleep. Until my body and mind finally feel fully rested.
I can’t actually remember a day, where I’ve woken up, feeling rested, awake, and well. Physically, I’m in constant pain to some degree. Mentally, I never know how I’ll feel when I wake the next day, or even really from hour to hour during the day. My mood can change as quickly as flipping a coin. It’s like I’m all good one minute, then raging the next. I hate that. Mostly, I’m okay, and cruise on the steady middle ground. Other days, are all out awful. And some days, are totally amazing.
I actually don’t know where I’m going with this post tonight, but I saw something on a fellow mummy bloggers Facebook page, that inspired me to write myself. She too has her fair share of struggles with her mental health, and, much like me, isn’t ashamed or afraid to admit when she’s not okay. Hiding it, whilst it feels like the right thing to do, only exacerbates the problem. It is true what they say (whoever they may be….) that a problem shared, is a problem halved. Sometimes, speaking out and releasing some of the negativity in your mind, can totally transform the way you feel. Keeping it inside, often just feeds the negativity, increasing it and making you feel even worse. It totally is okay, to admit that you’re not okay.
It took me a long time to realise, that opening up, is key to coming back from bad times. Letting the negativity out, rather than letting it fester, really does help. I’m a big believer in talking openly about mental health. If we’re ever going to break down those infinite walls of stigma, we simply must talk about it. And keep talking about it. Don’t ever let it become a secret, or something to feel ashamed of. Because it’s not. It’s something that affects far more people than many realise. It IS real. It IS hard. And there’s no shame in asking for help.
You could be walking down the street, and at least 1 in every 3 people you pass by, has encountered mental illness. You may be sitting on the bus or train, and the person next to you could be feeling so alone, so vulnerable and afraid, but on the outside, they smile. So the world just assumes that they’re okay. We never know what people are truly feeling on the inside, a smile can hide a million hurts. So, the next time you’re out and about, make a point of smiling at someone, it may be just what they need to make them smile too. It costs nothing to be kind, or to have a little thought for how someone else may be feeling.
I see you, I hear you, and I understand. Mental health matters. If you’re reading this and are struggling, know that you’re not alone. There is always hope, and always someone out there to talk to. Be it a friend, family member, or even someone like me, who understands. Reach out, don’t suffer in silence. There is no need to be afraid. I know it’s hard to open up, but trust me, you’ll find it helps so much, and you’ll begin to heal and feel better. I’ve been in some pretty dark places in my mind, but I’ve always found my way back. It is hard, but not impossible.
Life is hard. Parenting is hard. Mental illness is hard. Stick all 3 together, and it’s super hard! But, so very worth it. I may be tired, I may be in pain, and I may well feel like I’m breaking down catastrophically. But I look at my daughter, and know I got something right. It’s her that I keep going for. The reason I get up in the mornings, and carry on. My entire world in one little human. I love her to the moon and back, and will always, always, be the best mummy I can be for her. Because she’s a million percent worth it.
Stay strong lovelies, I’m only ever a message away, for anyone who needs a friendly ear. Don’t ever forget that, I’m here for you.
Much love, and have a good week! ^T.U.M^ x