In the spirit of Time to Change’s hashtag this week: #iwantyoutoknow, I am going to use this post to share what I want other people to know about me and mental health in general. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find them on twitter here. They want to hear from you so if you feel you can, get in touch and share what you want other people to know about your own mental health struggles.
I want you to know…
• I find life difficult. It’s already a mad whirlwind but sprinkle a bit of mental illness in there and this intensifies.
• Having anxiety can make me anti-social. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. Yes, that’s possible. No, I don’t have control over it. Please don’t take offence, it’s not you it’s me, honestly!
• I might appear more ‘needy’ or high-maintenance than other people. Comparing my personality with others doesn’t help. I just need to be supported to know that I can do this, I can do life. Is that too much to ask?
• Being depressed was the worst period of my life. I can never thank the people enough who were there for me. I will never forget the way they looked after me when I needed it the most.
• A ‘symptom’ of my OCD is that I am really weary of germs. I might need to use anti-bac more than your average person. If I don’t, I can’t concentrate. I’m too wrapped up in my head of worry that I’ve got something life threatening on my hand. I spend ages in public loos carefully dodging everything and anything that will have come into contact with other people. A bit like that scene in the Matrix.
• I am so scared of falling apart.
• There are many, many people out there like you and me. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but there are.
• Talking so honestly and openly about my mental health has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my wellbeing. I urge you to speak out too.
• There are people out there willing to help. There are people who understand.
• Counsellors are not always these cured people who have mastered their mental health. I am the face of that for sure.
• OCD makes me who I am and I am bloody proud of that.
• It can and it will get better. It can get shit again but then it will get better again. It will always get better.
• We don’t need to hate ourselves for not being like ‘everyone else’. Who wants to be the epitome of normal anyway?!
• Some things can work for us and help us deal with things a bit better, others might not. It doesn’t matter. There’s not a ‘one size fits all’, you haven’t failed. It doesn’t mean nothing will work for you. Just hang in there and keep trying, ok?