Thoughts from World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.

Yesterday I woke up before 9:00 on a Saturday (a RARE occurrence for me) and actually felt super well-rested.

Yesterday I went and got a salted caramel cream cold brew from Starbucks to have with breakfast and ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in SO LONG.

Yesterday I lit some fall-scented candles (all the warm, inviting pumpkin and sugary sweet scents), opened the windows, and cleaned my apartment.

Yesterday I was productive with my studying and got a lot done.

Yesterday I made a really good dinner.

Yesterday a really dear friend came over and we had drinks and got to hang out and talk.

Yesterday was a really good day.

Having good days has not been the norm lately. Most days have been hard as hell for me as of late. I’ve been having the “I don’t want to get out of bed” days, the “I have no appetite” days, and the “I have zero motivation to shower” days. The good days have been far and few.

Yesterday was different; yesterday was good. I felt happy. I felt motivated. Was my depression and anxiety still things that existed? Yes…but they seemed a little less heavy. I felt a little lighter. I was able to have real, honest conversations with a friend about where I’m at lately and I’ve been trying to deal with it all. Vulnerability has always been especially hard for me because I don’t trust easily, but my crappy mental health has shown me how much freedom can be found in letting people in and choosing to be real with them.

The thing is…it isn’t always that easy with having these conversations. There is still so much stigma surrounding mental health. People don’t want to talk about it because there are people who don’t provide the support and listening ear that is needed. Instead, they judge: They brush it off as being nothing significant, they think the person is being attention seeking, they try and belittle the person for their feelings, they don’t provide the care and compassion that is needed, etc. These are the types of behaviors that make it difficult to work up the courage to talk about it.

I know it sounds so basic at this point, but we really do need to do better. We need to END THE STIGMA. We need to normalize having conversations about mental health and we need to normalize acting like a decent human being when someone who is struggling comes to us. Education. Advocacy. These are the things that are needed. People need to be educated on just what these diagnoses can entail for someone and we need to do whatever it takes for people to get the supports they need.

We NEED to normalize this. Medication and therapy are both wonderful. They can make a world of difference, but there is still so much negativity surrounding them. Why is it that I still can’t comfortably talk to my parents about my mental health? Why is it that there are only a few of my friends I know I can go to about this? This HAS to change.

We need to do better; we all need to do better. We all need to work together to be bold, speak up, educate, provide support, and rally together to normalize having honest conversations about mental health and normalize being there for each other, in whatever way that may be.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, but everyday should be a day where we can comfortably talk about mental health. Changes need to occur.


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