Not long since my last post but a very important day and also anniversary for me. It is four years since I first spoke out about my bipolar disorder today!!!! FOUR YEARS!!!! It feels like it has flown by and in January it’ll be five years of diagnosis which I just think is incredible. How did I make it this far?
At a time of speaking out I was mentally stressed and to be honest I thought I’d gone through the worst that I’ll ever have to go through. I was wrong, it got worse.
This year the theme is ‘Mental Health for All’. So, what does this mean to me? I’m very open about most my experiences and to be honest I’ve been open for five years about my problems. I never thought I’d get to a point where I would openly speak to anyone and everyone about what I’ve been through without being terrified they’d run to the hills. Trust me people have; I’ve had countless people leave my life due to my mental health and most of those were the ones who promised they’d always stay no matter what.
This week I sat in an enrichment session alongside some of my course mates and the conversation was fuelled by education and the effects of education on the youth. For me, education was the pressure that fuelled my depleting mental stability, I also sound like the biggest hypocrite as I have chosen to do not only a degree but now a masters and have plans for a PhD. Despite my hypocrisy it does not take away from the honesty that the pressure from education is the reason my depression got so bad and it definitely led to my bout with self-harm and more importantly a few suicide attempts.
But for me it was the anxiety of it all, it was the never knowing if I had passed or failed (I had failed, nearly every subject) but then also the anxiety surrounded by the statement “well if you don’t do well in your GCSES/A Levels you’ll never make it”. I am a master’s student who has never had a job look twice at my grades before hiring me. Grades are important for the sole purpose of getting you to the next step and past that it no longer matters, once I have my masters no one is going to look at my D in Latin and be like wow she’s not academic enough for us.
So, what does ‘Mental Health for All’ mean? It means no matter your race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. everyone deserves mental wellness. Whether that be through provided mental support or a more open environment where talking about your struggles are not frowned upon and judged. I think the environment around you is so important in relation to how your mental health thrives and in an environment of silence and judgement it is so difficult to share your problems and anxieties.
I don’t want to live in a world like that though, mental health is so important to me and the concept of mental health support not being open to everyone is terrifying but unfortunately it is not far from the reality of life currently. It is almost impossible to get support most the time especially quickly and timing wise that can be the difference between life and death a lot of the time.
In a time where it is difficult to get help, where it is hard to speak about our feelings and being supportive of mental illnesses is a clout chasing event; it is important to keep going. It is not easy; it’s never going to be easy to be honest. There is always going to be a stigma and it’ll always feel as if the world is going against us but the more, we band together the more we support each other, and the easier life will become.
So, as I conclude and look back at my past year and how I’ve grown I urge you to do the same. You are still here, and life continues to suck a** daily but you have continued to live. Not every day is easy, and I assume much like me it’s been a very long time since one of the days was easy. But it is worth fighting for. I urge you today to reach out to those you love, give them a hug if you can or just tell them you love them. You never know how much someone is going through, and a simple ‘are you doing good?’ can make all the difference. Remember to be kind, look after yourself and look after the ones you love. Life isn’t guaranteed and it can all disappear in a flash.
I love you all. Happy World Mental Health Day xxxx
Ps: if you were in that bipolar talk, I did four years ago, I hope you know I literally cried my eyes out after.