World mental health day is absolutely so important. However most people on this day state facts about mental illness, figures about how many people suffer. That's 1 in 4 people...so around 450 million people suffering from mental illness approximately worldwide. And although there is nothing wrong with talking about that, it's not what I would like to talk to you about on this day. . I think today is about connecting people without mental illness with people who do. By doing this someone learns what it actually feels like to live with being mentally ill. They can have a greater understanding of how to help and haven't just learnt how many people need it. . Doing this connection is harder that is looks but think right now. Do you suffer? Do you have someone there to help you? If not is there someone you have wanted to tell that you're struggling but don't know how to? If so then I encourage you with all the comfort I can give to talk freely about your emotions. Tell someone how you feel. You are allowed to ask for help and there is no shame in it. . Living with mental illness is hard, but it's hard for different ways for each person. Some people find it hard to get out of bed, get dressed, take a shower, go out, meet people, talk to people, make friends. If you DO that is OKAY. But if you DON'T it doesn't make you any less valid just because your symptoms are different to the 'well-known ones'. Other people find it hard to sit in places for long periods of time, be present in classes, talk to people of authority (e.i teachers), get busses, trains, planes, cars. If you find it hard that is okay. And then some people find it hard to eat, but there are so many mental health problems which can cause someone to find it difficult to eat that isn't caused by low self esteem. Low self esteem can do crushing things to a person's behaviour but it's not the only cause of restricted eating. That said extreme levels of self hate can cause people to find it hard to eat but also to buy clothes, wear certain clothes, go shopping, do public talks/presentations, have confidence in themselves, feel worthy of love, support, friends, recovery. Then there are people who struggle with highly stigmatised symptoms like hallucinations, voices and self harm- no it doesn't make them insane or attention seeking.
The problem is there are so many symptoms I can't even list them all. What's so crazy is some of us sit here feeling like we are the only ones to have our symptoms because other people don't talk about them. We get too scared to talk about them because other people don't. Then when we do start showing symptoms people don't understand because no one's talked, listened and accepted that mental illness is a real illness and this person is suffering.
So let's talk about it. This part I can only do for myself. I cannot speak for every single person and believe me you are allowed to stand up for yourselves, talk about your experiences and tell someone you are suffering. Whether that is one person or 100 people, you're allowed to have the comfort that someone knows on any level what you're going through.
If you have a mental illness you are so absolutely incredible. I honestly mean that with all my heart, you are so brave and determined fighting every single day of your lives just to get through it. Give yourself the credit, the gratitude and the love you deserve. Fight now and every day for yourself because you are so important and there are people who care about you, who will be extremely grateful for you continuing to fight because one day it will get better. Maybe not all at once and maybe not all the time but it will. Never give up hope for the future, you really can do this.