Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mental Health Awareness

To be honest, I've always been a fairly anxious creature. I have, in fact, perfected the art of worrying and I grow more adept at it as time passes, especially now that motherhood is in the mix. There are times when the walls of reality seem to be closing in on me and I have no idea how I will escape being crushed by circumstance. When I should be sleeping, I lay awake and think of scenario after scenario of failure and conjure up horrible what-ifs. Certainly not every night, but enough  to cause  a bit of concern. You see, no matter how tired I am, my brain refuses to rest ... and it's exhausting. Though it is hard to admit, I am afraid of what is, what could be, and perhaps a little of what was. I second-guess and doubt as effectively as any worrisome warrior or neurotic ninja. And truthfully, I know this obsessive worrying isn't healthy.  I tell myself to stop but I've always hated being told what to do.

So, why am I mentioning it?

May is mental health awareness month. And we should be talking about it.

See, it's hard to confront one's own demons, to put bare our troubles and seek help, but these matters of the mind are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they are more common than one might think. For we all struggle, even the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Why? Because life isn't easy. This society we've built and the rules we've created can make it impossible to see the light through the darkness.

It's easy to become trapped under the weight of our own neurosis, to allow our depression and anxiety to suffocate rational thinking. In this world we exist, it's easy to lose touch with those we love. And sometimes it is second nature to feel alone.

When we are stuck beneath the tar of self-hate and uncertainty it is easy to stop talking and withdrawal. It becomes normal to think no one is listening. So we turn ourselves inwards and allow that tiny voice in the back of our heads to fill our existence with irrational thoughts. All of a sudden simple things like going out or dialing a number is a mountain we have to climb.

And sometimes you don't have the energy to put your shoes on or change your underwear let alone scale a mountain.

Don't let that little voice dictate your world.

Allow conversations to happen for they can change an outcome. Communication is a luxury we don't always utilize because sometimes the simple act of sharing is terrifying. But without talking, without telling the truth about the monsters hiding under our beds and lurking in the closet, we will never touch the lives of anyone else.

If I can help someone feel a little less alone and perhaps a little closer to the light, then maybe the sleepless nights are worth something.