#MentalHealthAwarness- Tip 7 YOU ARE NOT ALONE
When I first realised that I suffered with anxiety I was ashamed. I had no idea what it was and thought I was odd. And to be honest I was scared.
You’d be so surprised to know how many people are in a similar scenario to you. Just by talking about my situation in person or through this blog, I’ve had so many people relating and telling me their own stories. I’ve even joked about having the same therapist as someone or taking the same medication. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Life can hit you like a brick to the head, we are not invincible.
However, jumping back to when I first realised I properly suffered with anxiety, I didn’t want anyone to know. “Man up” was the classic phrase thrown at me, “grow a pair” another. No wonder I would neck whatever booze was closest before social events, however saying that, that was no-one else’s fault but my own. It was my crutch and I own that.
It’s almost funny now to look back to the time when I thought I was so special that I was the only person in the entire world that suffered with anxiety. That’s a crude way of putting it but I happily isolated myself down into this tiny box with just me and my anxiety. No-one else understood, no-one else really cared, no-one else could help. So I thought. That’s the damn anxiety telling me lies again.
I loved to isolate. Stopped seeing friends. Stopped picking up my phone. Stopped answering the door. QUICK, throw a pic up on Instagram so people know you’re alive and ‘well’. Send a stupid message in a Whatsapp group so people don’t think you’ve been in bed hiding for days. The fucked up lengths someone with mental illness will go to to hide that from people can be astronomical, yet the initial lengths they will go to get better are the opposite. Now this isn’t always true or if it is it’s because of many complicated reasons. Fear, embarrassment, shame, lack of education on the subject or it’s what they have always done — their coping routine. There is no shame in that, it’s one of the roots of the problem. A problem that at the time is difficult to comprehend.
If you ask any anxious person to stand up and talk about their issues it’s like asking them to run a marathon. However, the fucked up thing is that it really bloody helps. If you give people a context where they can talk about it and they can see that they are not alone and will not be judged, then it can lead to a significant fall in depression and anxiety.
Now, through the amount of kind messages I’ve had about these posts I know that talking helps. Having that tangible relation to someone with regards to your own situation gives you a feeling of belonging.
However, if talking to someone makes you feel uncomfortable then you can still relate in different ways. You can read and not have to say anything to anyone if you don’t want to, you can always build up to that. I whole heartedly recommend a book by Sarah Wilson called First We Make The Beast Beautiful. Also Russell Brand, who I used to think was a self centered arsehole, speaks SO MUCH SENSE on these subjects. I bloody love him now and want to be his best mate.
Know that you are not alone, there are others like you, people have got better, and you can too.
Thanks as always
Here’s a list of other good reading reference if you fancy it
Mentors: How to Help and be Helped