Everything I wish I knew about Mental Health…

well, it’s a ride – that’s for sure! it feels apt that i’m writing this one this week as we’ve just had World Mental Health day (n.b. this was when this was written in my notebook, not published online) and i’m in the middle of my fourth round in the ring with depression in 10 years.

my god, how am i still here?

there will be so many days that you think you can’t survive. there will be so many days when you think you don’t deserve to survive. you do. please stay.

your depression will give you ‘fake news’ – it will make you feel like a burden. it will make you question why people choose to have you in their lives. it will make you feel unworthy, unloved and alone. it will be painful. there will be many, many nights where you cry yourself to sleep and wonder when the pain will go, if there will ever be anyone that truly loves you, if there will ever be a day where you don’t feel such an incredible weight on your shoulders, tears in your eyes and pain in your heart.

you will fight with these intrusive thoughts, it will take all your energy to remember it is fake news. when you can’t, just focus on the next ten seconds. if you can get through those, you can get through anything.

accept help. and know that accepting help will look different on different days. there will be days when it looks like your sister brushing your hair for you because having a shower took all your energy, there will be days when it is someone sending you an instagram post reminding you that the sun will shine through the clouds again. there will be days you break down to your therapist. that’s okay. when you have calmed let him give you a new perspective. try. help is all around, accept it. on the days you feel like you don’t deserve help, accept it – that’s when you need it most.

when you are really poorly it will be, or feel, impossible not to let the dark thoughts eclipse the positive ones. you don’t want to die, you just don’t know how to live with ‘all this’. it will get better. you just need to hold on. don’t pay attention to those that tell you ‘you have nothing to be depressed about’ or ‘other people have it worse’ – these people, luckily for them, do not understand depression. it is a reflection of them, not you.

it will get better. you just need to hold on. there are so many things worth staying alive for. stay.

you are so much more than your worst days. so much more than the loneliness that eats you from the inside. you might feel lonely, but you are not alone.

stay to see your nephews born.

stay for all the places you are yet to travel too. for all the adventures that are waiting.

stay for all the cups of tea you’re yet to have with your best friend, whilst you nearly pee your pants laughing at something ridiculous.

stay to watch your friends become mamas.

stay to see you rediscover your love for education and working with children.

stay for all the songs you’re yet to sing.

stay. you won’t regret it. i promise. it won’t be easy but, like most things, the stuff that isn’t easy is always worth it.

stay for all the sunsets and sunrises you’re yet to see.
stay for all the flowers you’re yet to smell
stay for all the joy you’re yet to feel
all the coffee you’re yet to drink, the books you’re yet to read, the poetry you’re yet to inhale,
the minds you’re yet to touch.
the cuddles you’re yet to have from Mason.
the tickle fights with Oscar.
the shared laughs with Arlo.

the hard days will be hard but the good days will more than make up for it.
you’re stronger than you think.
you can do this.
stay.
you are not the titanic. yes, you will hit icebergs, but you won’t sink.
stay.

xoxo M

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