Remembering the years gone by, when I was entrenched in my own mind, brings back the raw emotions that engulfed every moment of each day. The saddest part about those experiences was that it was so much easier to simply say nothing at all.
Imagine a world where you believe that your voice is not valid, that it’s not worth hearing. Petrified that if you speak up and share how you really feel that you will be laughed at, yelled at, or pushed away. Having others attempt to belittle the thoughts you have by instructing you to “do this…and you will be fine” or “It will pass” even though its been four months already and nothing has improved. Being told that ‘it is not really happening’, ‘it is not real’ or that ‘you have too much going for you to feel like that’, takes you further and further into the silence.
Silence becomes more than the physical absence of sound.
It becomes a place of nothingness.
A place for over-thinking, doubt, worry, and torture as the same thoughts consume you with heaviness.
There have been several moments where I have felt the need to stay silent because of fearing the rejection from others over how painful it was for me to be in the place I was or where I was coming from. Having friends walk away from the situation entirely due to not knowing what to do or wanting to understand was heartbreaking. Being told that I didn’t look like I had an illness as I didn’t fit a stereotype was soul-destroying. When my family fought back with frustration as I continued to go against what they thought was the right way to fix it, ripped my life apart.
Even though it was such an isolating existence, being silent about my mental health issues it felt like the safest place to be.
Thankfully, today I am in a stronger position having overcome numerous obstacles along my road to recovery, and want to help prevent similar situations from happening to others. Though I may feel those incredibly powerful and raw emotions from time to time, they no longer silence me completely.
I have learned that whatever I feel, think or believe is real for me. It is my own experiences in life that have led to their creation, which is enough to acknowledge that they are true and they deserve to be heard.
Breaking the silence is the bravest, most courageous act a person can do for themselves when they are suffering from any form of mental illness. As part #LetMeTalk campaign created by The mental health charity SANE, I am here to share the message with you all to start the conversation; opening up about your problems, talk to someone about what is really bothering you, ask the question to a friend or family member to see if they are doing okay.
Mental health affects everyone at some stage in their lifetime. Depression is one of the most common illnesses that people have to deal with and links with many other different mental health conditions too. The very illness itself wants the sufferer to stay silent, so they continue spiraling down until there is nothing left to fight for. We all need to fight back and stand together. We need to help each other and above all ourselves by breaking the silence and making the stigma surrounding mental health a thing of the past.
Take action and share this post and get involved with the campaign by sharing your own experiences and support for mental health awareness.
If it affects us all, it should matter to us all.