Today is National Mental Health day. These beautifully depicted pieces of art, as expressive as they are; don't begin to touch on the grave reality that accompanies the incessant drawl of negative, and sometimes scary, inner dialogue of those that struggle with their mental health.
No one is expected to be knowledgeable about the intricate details of every mood disorder, disease, term, or association related to the mental health community; Myself included. This does not mean we shouldn't continue to advocate what we do know, and that is ourselves. We all signify, and can relate to, at least one of the aforementioned visuals above. Whether we are raging an internal war to come to terms with our own admissions, or we bear witness to the public battle of someone we love, and hold dear to our hearts. Tolerance cannot blossom under ignorance; solidarity and compassion start home.
- Be bold, brave, and forthcoming in what you are experiencing. Don't burrow further into your self-deprication.
- Ask questions about things that you don't understand, or feel unsure of.
- Join a community that will embrace you during your darkest moments, and guide you through them.
- Confide in those that actively choose to rally alongside you every day.
- Seeking help does not equal seeking attention.
- Remove yourself from relationships that breed negative reactions to your pain.
- Do not fear the stigma attached to labels; or the stereo-types made about them. Instead, lead as an example to the change that they so desperately need.
I have listed some helpful resources below if you are looking to find out more about the state of your own mental health, or maybe someone you know.
Full disclosure: I have struggled openly throughout my life with some degree of Depression, Anxiety, Hypochondria, psychosomatic disorder, and Postpartum Anxiety. I wake up every morning not knowing what the day will bring in terms of my moods, or who it will affect. I make jokes, and often use sarcasm, to lighten the burden of carrying around the heaviness of these afflictions; and by the evening; I find that I feel completely drained, void of anything left to give emotionally, or mentally.
Life is hard, but you don't have to go at it alone.
You are loved. Deeply, Sincerely, guaranteed without a doubt, reach for the stars, over the moon, world-series kind of loved.
Further information and resources:
- Mental Health Arizona
- Mental Health Gov
- 13 Mental health resources that are absolutely free
- Free peer counseling chat
- Suicide prevention lifeline
- 45 ways to cheer up on a bad day
- baby animals on Youtube
- Finding Therapy - Mental Health America
- 100 quotes about life that will uplift and inspire you
- 9 videos to watch to calm an anxiety attack
Disclaimer: I do not own or have rights to the photographs above. They belong exclusively to and deserve full (thanks) credit to Sonaksha Iyengar. Please go to his Facebook page for more of his wonderful artwork.