Anyone who suffers with a mental illness knows how hard it can be to open up about it, to start a conversation and to put the words together to let someone know exactly how you’re feeling.
Here’s the thing, the words don’t need to make sense because mental health doesn’t always make sense. But what does make sense is to speak about it when you need to (sometimes we don’t want or need to, but sometimes we do).
I am fortunate enough to know a lot of my triggers, I am fortunate enough to have a great support system and I am just one of those people who prefers to speak about everything rather than keep it all inside, so I manage to have conversations quite easily most of the time. But I know that others aren’t as fortunate as I am, some of you may be struggling to accept that you have a mental health issue, some of you may have friends and family who are not accepting your struggle.
So I wanted to write this post in the hopes of helping you to have the conversation when you need to. These are a few ways I think might help. I am no professional but if it can help even one of you then I will be happy.
Ear to ear
Sometimes you feel like you can’t face someone when you need to speak, you want to speak but you can’t bear the thought of looking into someone else’s eyes while pouring out your soul. Something that has helped me is to make a phone call or send a voice note but do something while I am speaking. So I’ll call my mom and sweep while we chat. The bit of distraction helps me open up more for some reason. The words just flow because I am not focusing on exactly what to say. Maybe this sounds crazy but it works for me.
I know, I know. Social media can play a role in our actual mental health BUT if you follow support accounts who share quotes, real stories, offer support, it will help you feel less alone and because you can relate to this person or this account, you will start opening up too. If you read a caption that is exactly what you are going through, you are more than likely going to comment with support and advice which you actually need as well.
There are websites, YouTube channels, podcasts where other sufferers have summed up mental health perfectly. I remember reading a post about anxiety one day and the author hit the nail on the head with everything she said and I have never related to anything so much in my life. I sent it to everyone close to me to try and give them a better understanding. If you are still new to a diagnosis or those closest to you just aren’t getting it, it could be an option to send them a link that you really related to. This may help them understand. And finding these resources may you help you understand yourself a bit more.
Don’t be ashamed
No matter how you choose to speak up, do not be ashamed of your feelings, your diagnosis, your fears, your medication, or anything else. This is you, and of course we would never choose to have these issues, but we do and acceptance towards it will help you move forward.
I would like you all to know that if you need an ear, I am here. I never want anyone to face these battles alone. I don’t know everything but I do know that sometimes speaking to a stranger can be easier than speaking to someone you love.