Thursday, 1 February 2018

It's #TimeToTalk


I suppose it is time I spoke up on here isn't it!?  It's been what feels like forever since I last wrote a post!

In all seriousness, today (Although there isn't that much left of today at the time I've finally been able to sit down to write this.) is Time To Talk Day.  A day where people are encouraged to speak up about their mental health.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many people out there who feel alone and isolated as a result of their mental illness.  Yes, we've come on leaps and bounds over the past 10+ years to break the stigma around mental health, but unfortunately that stigma does still stand in society, and it's those that suffer in silence that feel it the most.

I myself have suffered the affects of the stigma around mental health.  As you all know, mental health is a subject I feel so passionate about, and I will always encourage anybody who is suffering in any way to seek help.  Do I ever take my own advice though?  Rarely.

In fact, for the past 14 months I've suffered in silence.  Since the loss of my Mum, I've spent all this time taking care and worrying about everybody else, and apart from a short stint of bereavement counselling that I did at the beginning of last year, I've given myself next to no time to process the loss of my Mum.

If anything, I've played it down a lot of the time.  I've always been stuck in the mindset of "This is my problem to deal with, nobody else's.", and because of that I've found it incredibly hard to share my problems with others.  So I've spent all this time putting on a brave face for the world outside, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, then crumbling as soon as I shut to world out in the privacy of my own home.

This week, I was pushed to the edge and on the verge of a breakdown.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I needed professional help.  When I said out loud to Spencer that if I could trade places with my Mum right now I would, I knew I couldn't do this on my own anymore.

I decided to look at things from a different perspective.  I decided to look at myself from the outside.  As if I was listening to a friend tell me her problems.  I thought "If a friend was telling me what is going through my head right now, I would tell her that she needs to get herself booked in to see a doctor as soon as possible".  So that's what I did.  The very next morning I booked an appointment to see my doctor.

I personally find going to see my doctor about my mental health incredible nerve wracking. I convince myself they'll think I'm being ridiculous.  That I'm faking it.  That I'm just having a bad day.  Of course this is never the case.  Doctors very much understand that mental health is just as important as physical health these days, and my situation was taken very seriously.  I'm being referred for further bereavement counselling, as it's felt more is needed for me to help me move forward with my life, and I have been prescribed Citalopram to help me on a more short term basis to straighten my head out a little.

Whenever I get to the stage when I need to seek professional help for my mental health, I always feel a hint of disappointment.  Like I'm too weak to help myself, when in fact, it's the complete opposite.  Admitting that you need help is one of the hardest things you can do.  To actually go out and get the help you need and deserve, takes an incredibly strong human being.

I also realised I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Losing a parent is one of the hardest losses you will ever suffer.  It has a massive impact on your life.  In fact, your entire life changes forever!  Especially when the loss is sudden and a total shock.  That kind of trauma is going to have a lasting effect.

To anybody who is suffering low mood, depression, anxiety, or anything that is having a negative impact on your life, I urge you to please seek help.  Talk to somebody.  Whether it be a parent, friend, colleague, teacher, or even a doctor.  Please seek the help you deserve.  

Nobody deserves to spend their life feeling unhappy, and taking that first step just to talk to somebody can instantly help you feel like your problems are already halved.  There are people out there who want to help you, so let them.  Believe me, this is coming from the Queen of bottling things up.  I'm terrible for it, but as soon as I went to the doctors yesterday, I already felt a little lighter.

If you feel there is nobody in your life who you can turn to at present, then please call the Samaritans on 116 123.  They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, about whatever is on your mind.

Whatever you decide, don't suffer in silence any longer.  It's time to talk...
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1 comment

  1. I am so glad you have asked for help, and that you are now getting it. You have been so strong but you can only do this for so long before it will start to take its toll on you. Its onwards and upwards now Siobhan, hoping that this will make 2018 a much happier year for you. xx

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