The ‘lightbulb moment’ of realisation that I was mentally unwell was when I was speaking to a doctor. “Do you have suicidal thoughts?” they asked, “Yeah course, but no more than anyone else does…” I responded.
I had completely blindsided my own poor mental health.
I often compare poor mental health to a bad cold. The ones where you can’t remember what it’s like to breathe through your nose?
When you have those colds you look after yourself, right? You take time to recover and you focus more on doing the things that will make you better, until one day you’re no longer getting worse, you’re recovering.
Mental health and mental illness shouldn’t be any different.
Thankfully, I had friends and family who had been through similar experiences and identified the signs before I did. It still didn’t make it easy to talk about though. I always thought my problems were so small by comparison, that I would feel guilty for even just struggling with them, let alone talking about them.
I urge anyone struggling to speak to people about how you’re feeling. No issue is too small. Equally, check-in on your family and friends because you never know what they might be dealing with and, if you feel comfortable, publicly show support because you might just reach someone who needs to hear it – I know I have.
Lastly, a quote that always resonated with me from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (don’t judge);
“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”