Since it is Mental Health Week, I decided to come out of the deep abyss I have been hiding in. Mental health has always been that one topic that hardly anyone wants to talk about, including me for the longest of times. But why? Why is talking about how we are doing mentally and emotionally so hard?
For me, it was not wanting anyone to know that I was not…FINE. The one word we grew up learning to say if someone were to ask how we were. “Never show how you really are” was ingrained into our brains at such a young age. Even with my family, they didn’t want to know that I was battling depression, or thought that I was mentally disabled in a way.
It isn’t their fault. Not in the slightest. That is just how society is to some people. Yes, there are those few who can be completely open with their families, and I envy them. I wish I was able to show what was truly going on in this brain of mine.
Recently, I have been diagnosed with Anxiety and Panic Disorders, as well as bipolar tendencies. As soon as I heard this come out of my doctor’s mouth, I wished I never heard him udder any of those words. When this was spoken, it came to light that I had something “wrong” with me. I use those quotation marks now because I know they don’t make me any less of a person.
Granted, up until this week, I have been trying to avoid the topic. That was until I could not stand the stress and panic attacks anymore. I was having outbursts and panic attacks in public; the absolute worst place to have one (in my mind). I did not want anyone, especially family, knowing that there was something off about me, and I have never been one to be open with my family.
So, off to therapy I went. The dreaded “T” word.
I felt ashamed that I even had to go, that I couldn’t handle this on my own. But once I started opening up to this complete stranger, I began to realize that keeping all this in was the last thing I needed. I needed someone to hear what all I was going through, and to not judge me. That is why I didn’t open up to my family. Being conservative Christians, they tend to look down upon those who are not exactly how they picture everyone should be. Including me.
Little do they know, I’ve had sex (let alone a miscarriage), I curse, I have tattoos, I drink and I have done drugs. All the things they hate…
As I began to mention this to my therapist, it came to light how much I truly keep from them and how much that does affect me. Excuse my rant. By the end of the session, I felt so much better.
I know I have so long to go, but that one footstep to me being okay with my disorders is going to change my life. Mental health is something no one should hide! 1 in 4 people have some sort of mental health issue, but most have no been diagnosed. So, if you even have am inkling that you might, PLEASE go talk to someone. They might end up saving your life.
THERAPY will never be a word I fear anymore. Neither will my disorders.