In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about depression and anxiety.
I am one of the millions of people who suffer with both depression and anxiety, and I have since I was a small girl. As I grew up, I was hard pressed to find anyone that either suffered as I did, or at the very least understood the daily battles raging in my mind and heart. As an adult, I find more and more people who suffer from the same afflictions, even if they suffer in a different way. (You would be surprised to find out just how many adults suffer from depression and/or anxiety. We all may act like it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but in reality, it’s a shit-storm raging in our brains.)
While great strides are being made in bringing mental illness out of the shadows, the specter of shame still exits. For those that continue to suffer in silence, I wanted to tell you this: you are not alone.
If you feel the racing thoughts in your head may never stop, you’re not alone.
If there are days where the simple act of getting out of bed, even to eat or use the restroom, are too much to bear, you’re not alone.
If your brain is trying to tell you that you are worthless, that your family and friends would be happier without you, recognize that your brain lying to you, and you’re not alone.
If you feel like you’re reeling from constant fight or flight, you’re not alone.
I could list a million emotions that accompany depression and anxiety, and I’m sure we could all relate to some, if not all, of them. However, regardless of how many I would list, the ending would always be the same: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Depression and anxiety are not diseases meant to be dealt with alone. Sure, your brain is going to tell you that you need to keep it to yourself. That to share your struggle, or admit you need help, would only serve to put an undue burden on those around you. Well, my dear, to plainly put it, your brain is being a dishonest jerk. And if you have people in your life trying to tell you the same thing your brain does, you have my permission to tell them they are a jerk too. They may not be a fan of hearing it, but it won’t make it any less true.
To cap off this somewhat somber post, I am going to say that if you are suffering from any form of mental illness, whether it be depression and anxiety like I touched on here, or any other form, please reach out. Reach out to a friend, a parent, a sibling, your local crisis hotline, or whoever. It will be hard, but I promise, it will be worth it. You are not alone.
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