WE SHOULD’NT BE AFRAID TO HAVE THIS TALK
This topic is not an easy one and it is one that everyone you talk with will have a different opinion. I want to start off saying that I am not a doctor, so everything I am going to be talking about is through my own experience or a loved one’s.
“You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts” – Philip Arnold.
Mental health is a taboo subject among friends and family along with religion and politics. Everyone knows to avoid these topics so that heated discussions do not occur and forcing one another’s opinions down each other’s throat. Why is it that we cannot bring this up without all the judgment and opinions? Honestly, mental health, religion and politics are the three most important topics in life that need to be addressed. We need to feel safe bringing them up to our family and close friends. We need to be okay that each of us think differently. We need to have a peace of mind that someone will not take what we said and use it as gossip.
What is the first thing you think of when someone brings up mental health? Be honest. No one is around you reading this blog and no one is going to judge what you are thinking in this moment. Since you are being honest with yourself I am going to be honest with you. If you would have brought up mental health to me five years ago, or even two years ago, I would have told you mental health is not real. It is an excuse people use to cover up their behavior or actions. I would have told you that all the person needed to do was get their emotions in check.
Yup, I was a jerk and also a hypocrite. I had no problem saying those things because it covered up my own scars.
I was scared to admit that for years I was troubled with how others viewed me and my anxiety would get to be so much that I would lash out and become this emotional mess. It was scary for me to think that I fought with anxiety and self-image because I did not want anyone to label who I was and am. I didn’t want my flaws to define me. There would be nights I wish I did not exist, that I would question God on why he created me, if all I was good for was making mistakes and screwing up friendships/relationships. I would look at my siblings and see how happy they were. That maybe they would all be better off without a sister like me, less drama in their lives. There would be days I would sit in my closet and cry. Not a sobbing ugly cry, it was a soft and sad cry. Confused at life. Feeling alone and that no one would understand where I was coming from. I did not want to open up to my parents or siblings because I never wanted them to be disappointed in me.
Through the years I had five people in my life who really helped me and shaped me into who I am today. That whenever those thoughts came or when I was feeling alone, they would lift me up. These five would never judge who I was or look at me any differently. I am not sure where I would be if it was not for them.
Still to this day I am working on not caring what people think of me and honestly this blog is a way of expressing myself in a way that helps control my emotions. In the past two years I have not had any of those bad feelings until this last month of July. These last three weeks were the toughest three weeks of my life. The reason it was so tough is because the person I leaned on the most was going through their own problems which related to PTSD. I will not go further into what happened and maybe later on we will open up about it, but for now it is between us. Together we both want to get the word out in the world that mental health is a real thing. That it is an everyday struggle. But with the right people in your life and having the support, anyone can beat their own thoughts! One should never ever have to go through it alone.
During service a few weeks ago, Pastor Vincent Cannatello brought up how we have about 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day but the catch is 99% of those thoughts are from the day before or the day before that. We keep reliving the past and replaying the things that hurt us in our minds. The more we relive those memories, the more we become bound to our mind and we attract the negative. Let that sink in….we are attracting what we think. If we keep thinking of our mistakes or those who hurt us we keep reliving the pain. Did you get goosebumps? You are not alone!
He went on to talk about how it is not an easy thing to switch how we think, that it will be the hardest thing we will have to do. I remember hearing him say that hit me hard. Finally, someone admitted that the mind is hard to handle but with hard work we can start changing the way we think which will help us with our health. We need to start thinking more of the present and letting the past, and past mistakes, stay in the past. Everyone makes mistakes and there are going to be people in the world who will still judge, but we need to let them. That whatever they say or think does not change who you are. That your past and your mistakes do NOT define you as a person. Your anxiety, your depression or whatever you have to deal with can be handled and you can be in control of it. You are a strong mother…well you know the other word I was going to say.
Can we as a society agree to stop saying mental health is an excuse? Of course, we will always have the people who do use it as an excuse but we can say that for anyone. Example: We have good cops and corrupt cops. There will always be a bad apple, but we need to stop judging everyone off of those few bad ones. I want whoever is reading this to know you are not alone. If you ever need to talk please know I am here for you. You are stronger. Stronger than the person next to you. People believe what you are going through is real.
Please do not leave any negative comments, this is me simply explaining my journey. Only happy thoughts and positive vibes.
Love you all ❤