Mental

Depression. Anxiety. Panic Attacks. PTSD. BiPolar. Substance Abuse. Mental Illness.
All things people do not talk about. They are like the new ‘C’ word. Whispered in conversation. Joked about.  Avoided all together.
All are real. All are deadly.
Physical illness is something people can see and “treat” so that seems to be more acceptable. Mental illness is not easily diagnosed or treated, nor is it “acceptable” so people often hide it, self medicate or just give in to it.
None of it is easy and all of it is embarrassing. It carries a horrible stigma of mental hospitals and crazy psych wards like we have seen in the movies (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, anyone?). But that is not the case any longer.
I have been treated for all of the above. I see a therapist regularly. I fought, and had to get a court order, for my children to attend therapy. They didn’t like it for a while but now? They are researching their own therapists in order to go back and get help.
I honestly do not know where I would be without my therapist. I have had 2 over the years. One that I walked away from as she told me my anxiety, panic attacks and depression were due to a horrible marriage. I knew it deep down but I also knew that opening that door would lead to a mess I was not capable of cleaning up even with the most trusted professional. I walked out of her office and thought I could stuff it all away forever. NOPE.
A year later, I really thought I was losing my mind. I secretly visited an inpatient facility and went through the entire intake process. It was recommended that I check in immediately as  they were concerned for my wellbeing…..but I walked away. No, honestly, I ran away as fast as I could…I didn’t want them to catch me! Opening that door ….nope. Not happening. No thank you. The mess had only gotten larger and more difficult to clean up.
I finally got to a place and found a person I could trust. She helped me open the door a little at a time and mopped up the mess as it spilled out of me. She allowed some light to enter back my life. And once I saw that light? I knew that there was no going back. I needed to help to maintain balance.
Mental illness does not have an easy fix. People self medicate daily to combat demons with all sorts of things like exercise, caffeine, drugs booze, food, gambling…you name it.   I know the struggle is real and that it is a day to day battle to keep the demons in check. They creep in sometimes and I fall down the rabbit hole…..sometimes I fall deeper than others. It is not pretty when that happens. It is hard for those who suffer to crawl out of that hole alone….I know it is hard for me sometimes. But on those days, I know that have seen the light before and I know it is out there somewhere….I just may  need help finding it. So check on your strong friends, the ones that you think have it all together. They may not tell you how weak they feel but that check in, that phone call, that text message….. it might save a life.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

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