Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Checking in with yourself when it comes to your mental health is so incredibly important. I know that my mental health will be something that I struggle with for the rest of my life. They stem from my chronic pain and just spiral out of control. If I wasn’t sick, I would be able to live out from under my parents, I could have a regular job, a relationship, be able to experience so many different things, be able to dance again, the list goes on and on. Having depression, anxiety, and OCD, I know these are things that can be helped with medication and different forms of therapy, but just like with chronic illness, they will never be fully “cured.” When your body is constantly in pain for over ten years, it starts to affect you mentally.
However, each month—each day, really—I learn more about myself, how I process things, and how I deal with problems, or even just life events that come my way. I’m the kind of person who keeps all my feelings inside until I’m way, way down and I explode in a fit of tears—I get it from my mother. I don’t like to bother people, my friends or my family, with my feelings when I know there is nothing they can say to make me feel any better. I’ve tried therapy three separate times now and each time, after a few months I stop going because I spend most of the time sitting in awkward silence. And it’s not that I’m not being forthcoming with my feelings—I just know why I do the things that I do and every time I’ve had therapists try to give me advice, it’s stuff I already know. I truly believe that if I wasn’t sick and in constant pain, I wouldn’t have depression or anxiety.
There are so many highs and lows when it comes to mental health—though mine is mostly more like med/low. You never know what someone is going through at any time. Many people experience their mental illness differently, but they are all valid. You’re feelings are valid. And I am slowly opening up when I’m feeling especially low. I try to catch myself before I go into a major spiral and talk myself down, even going to my mom to let her know the kind of headspace I’m in. It does help to know that you’re not completely alone.
So this was a little stream of consciousness that I decided to do at the last minute due to the “holiday,” so I’m sorry if this is just me rambling and all over the place. I hope you find something worthwhile in this mess, even if it’s just for the John Mulaney gif.