My feelings are valid?
How are you?
That’s a simple question, right?
A question that’s asked absent-mindedly and usually answered with a pretty plain and straightforward response. But what about the people who would’ve read that question and instantly thought –
‘I’m not okay.’
The people battling with illnesses that you can’t see. People who can’t honestly say that they’re good… but do anyway out of fear that no one really cares. What if YOU are one of those people?
Trust me, I know how that feels. I’ve been the person that dreads being asked how I am because I knew that I’d have to lie. I could never tell them that I woke up this morning feeling heart broken…. that I pressed snooze on my alarm over and over until I couldn’t keep my eyes closed any longer. I couldn’t tell them that I laid in my bed crying, wishing I could just sleep forever. I couldn’t tell them how I cried 7 times after that… that I cried when I sat up because my body ached and my head was heavy. I cried when I stood up because my legs felt weak beneath my body. I cried when I walked across my room – climbing over all the clothes and rubbish around me, hurting my feet on small, sharp objects at every step. I cried when I got undressed, when I attempted to brush my hair and as I brushed my teeth – only to look down into a draining sink of blood and yellow-stained toothpaste. I couldn’t tell them that I ended up spraying myself with deodorants and different perfumes to mask the smell of my unwashed body. Or that my messy bun was really hiding the tangles and matts that I had no effort to brush out. I couldn’t tell them how upset I was when I finally made my way down the stairs and got called lazy but my step-dad my sister and my brother. I couldn’t explain the embarrassment I felt. I couldn’t tell them that I felt so guilty that I had to fight with all of my strength not to go back to bed. I couldn’t tell them that the innocent question they just asked me, only made me realise how empty I am.
To be honest with you, I still have days like that… except now the good days seem to outweigh the bad.
I’m going to be writing a series of blogs, digging a little deeper into those unspoken answers. Sharing my own experience and discussing some of the reasons behind the silence. I aim to let people know that it’s OKAY not to be okay, and that there is no shame in seeking support.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
In England, 1 in 6 people report experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) in any given week, and it can hit anyone at anytime.
So be patient, understanding and reach out.
Personally, I think that the worst feeling whilst suffering from any kind of mental health issue, is feeling like you have to deal with it alone. Like nobody commits to your recovery in the way that you do. Or that you can’t even speak up in fear of being disbelieved, discarded or bulldozed with information and advice that perhaps you don’t need as much as you just need someone to listen to you.
I hope that these blogs can help, at least one person, to reach out to someone and to realise that there is always someone who can help you.
Mental health doesn’t define you. And you are not alone.
Samaritans :- 116 123 📞
(24 hour helpline)
Blog written by Lowenna a participant of The Positive People project. A programme delivering two contracts in Cornwall; Coast to Coast and South East Cornwall. The projects will help over 2,300 individuals who are out of work to build their confidence and develop their skills. This is funded by The Big lottery and European Social Fund.