Wishes while functioning and struggling with mental health

I wish…
…I could self harm just once so that people would take it seriously (too much of a possibility of that causing an added problem)
…I knew what I needed to do to get better
…there was someone who would check in regularly and that I knew what that looked like
…what kind of therapy would help
…what physical ailments were related to anxiety, stress, or depression and what might be a sign of some physical sickness that I should get checked out (problem with having no insurance. You have to decipher when to go to the doctor.)
…that I could find a way to directly reach out to people without it stressing the mess out me. Every time I feel that I am in crisis mode and should reach out, I think about what might be going on in someone’s life before reaching out. Which causes me not to reach out because everyone has things going on in their lives.
….I could get to the root causes of my mental health struggles
….that there weren’t wait lists to see a therapist (then again I don’t have insurance therefore have limited resources)
…that people in the church wouldn’t have such a negative view on counseling/therapy and medication people might need to deal with their mental health struggles. Yes, prayer with time in the bible and memorization helps but doesn’t always bring healing. I can have peace while struggling mentally. God allows people to go through different struggles for His glory. This could be one way He is using me. I got to believe that because I know He is the only reason I am still alive on Earth. If my time here was done, I wouldn’t be here.

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strength vs struggle of mental health

Many people wonder why I choose to post on social media about my struggles. Not many directly tell me this but some have informed of other’s concern.

Here’s the reason: to break the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others to become informed of the realities of mental health struggles [not just what movies, shows, and books show].

Here’s the main reason people think I post but never my intention: attention

I used to not post about my struggles until they passed and I was back to being positive.

I want to be positive. I really do. The thing is I do not know how to deal with my emotions and I do not have a support system set up. I also deal with the fear of being a burden. Therefore I rarely reach out to someone personally while I am struggling.

I somehow thought I grew up in a culture where emotional issues and any developmental issues was not discussed therefore they could not exist. That’s how I perceived it.  Probably not reality.

I chose numbness as a coping mechanism when facing issues growing up. It still the first thing I tend to do when facing an emotional stressor. I don’t remember much of the details of my life because the numbness blocked those memories.

Over the past few years, I have gotten to a breaking point with my mental health. I have had several moments where a passing thought of suicide will occur. It only last for a moment. Not long enough to make a plan. Just enough time to suggest how. I deal with a thing called suicide ideation which is where it can range from just fleeting thoughts to planning. I am thankful that I just get fleeting suicidal thoughts. What a weird thing to say, right?

I want to be vulnerable but I know I don’t need to or shouldn’t share too much detail about the specifics of my mental health struggles.

There lies the problem where it is hard to know how much to share so that people get an idea of what it looks like to deal with a mental health struggle. I want to share about the faults I have faced with people in my life when it comes to trying to share about my mental health but not single anyone out or have it seem like I am pointing fingers. {Welcome to my anxious mind}

I do not have a support system set up. I have never had one set up. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to talk to someone about being part of my support system. I don’t even know what I need in a support system.

I know that I am worn down from fighting this on my own. I am on a waiting list to see a therapist at the psych clinic at South university where a grad student will attempt to help me with life and how to deal with my emotions.

 

Remembering the hard moments is hard yet necessary

For a moment, I didn’t want to be reminded someone I personally knew took their life eight years ago. Every year, I wonder why it still impacts when we never really knew each other. One of the few things that connected us is the reason he is gone.

That reason is a mental illness.

I wasn’t close enough to him to know the details. The only real interaction we had was a week in the summer of 2007 at a church camp. I opened up to the group I had come with. I have no idea what I said but it must have been about feeling depressed or something along those lines. At the end of the week, he wrote me a note [my group writes a letter to each person at the end of the week each year-I’m not sure they still do.] and at the end said something along the lines of I could call me anytime if needed. He put his number on the card.

I never called.

I can recall one time we passed in the hallway at school. I can’t recall if he said anything but I know it was too quick for either of us to say much. I don’t recall saying hey or responding. I don’t why but I recall that moment every time I think of his death.

The other moment I always recall is the day of his death. I’m not sure if I had gotten a text or just had a feeling but when I walked into the living room and my sister told me the news, I said I know the I went for a run.

That is all I recall from that day. I know it was a few days before school started back.

I remember the day of the funeral. I remember leaving school with two friends. I remember seeing  a younger boys’ soccer team who he had helped coach. Every year, I think about how do you tell a child someone they knew and looked up to took his own life.

I recall several moments reflecting on why I hadn’t called. On why I hadn’t given him much thought over the months between that week in the summer of 2007 and that day in January of 2008.

It was his choice no matter what other people did or said to try to help him.

Eight years is a long time.

This day being the first one where I have taken action towards my mental health in a positive way. In years past, there were many reasons why I didn’t seek help.

Pride. Shame. Fear. Stigma. Saving face mentality. Choosing to be numb. Use of substances.

These are reasons why I struggled to want to start the road to recovery.

It seems fitting to officially [social media wise] say that I did go to that counseling session in December and I did see the psychiatrist as well. I had my follow up with my psychiatrist today.

I was nervous that I wouldn’t be completely honest with her. I am being treated for moderate anxiety and moderate depression. The meds I was prescribed have seemed to make the anxiety better but I seem to lack motivation. I am going to see what increasing the mg does in hopes that I will have days where I want to do something other than binge watch shows.

I didn’t want to remember the pain that his death caused but I have realized that I need to. Remembering his death also means remembering the aftermath. Again, I wasn’t close to him or his family so I only saw tid bits of how they dealt with his death.

His death affected many. I know the many reasons people say why people choose to take their own lives instead of continuing to choose to fight their mental illness. I don’t know what his thoughts or reasons were but I do know there has to more conversations about mental health. I know there something has to change. I know there are many people and organizations who are fighting to change to conversation and fighting the stigma. I am part of the community of stigma fighters.

Here are some links if you’d like more info on mental health and how to fight the stigma:

National Alliance on Mental Illness – http://www.nami.org/

Active Minds – http://activeminds.org/

To Write Love On Her Arms – https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/

http://www.mentalhealth.gov/