I did a brave thing today. I say that, but I don’t necessarily feel that, and that is the problem.
I’ll be honest, I don’t sleep well. My demons whisper to me in quiet moments and it causes my mind to be on alert.
Anxiety and depression have been old friends of mine for some time, admittedly before my mum died. They still visit on occasion and I’ve made peace with that they’ll do it, sometimes without cause and without notice. And then they’ll leave as randomly as they arrived.
I’ve had a lifetime of suppressing my emotions and voice have kept so much locked away, sharing little bits here and there.
I’ve had counselling in the past, taken anti-depressants, introduced mindfulness into my life, journaled and blogged about it, spoke with friends, stayed quiet… But more recently I realised that I have to dig a little deeper and give myself space to talk, and I mean really talk, without feeling guilty or like I’m being self-indulgent at the same time.
I mean, my life is AMAZING! There’s nothing current I can complain about, I am very blessed and I am grateful for everything and everyone… However, there are parts of me that still need healing. I’ve been proactive about managing my mental wellbeing these last 6 months, and this morning I took another step.
It’s good to talk.
I’m not entirely new to counselling, it’s been a few years since I’ve been through this process. I’ve always said that when I return, knowing full well that I would eventually, I’d address everything in my past. And I think this is what I am doing.
The woman I spoke to was open and easy to talk to. I cried even when I didn’t mean to, there’d been some feelings I hadn’t known were there and as the words rolled out, so did my tears. I only had 50 minutes so I couldn’t really go into everything but instead touched a little on the few things that were on my mind. I didn’t know it was so much,
And this is why it is so important for me to have an opportunity to really talk to someone about what’s on my mind. Of course, I have the most amazing support network around me and I am surrounded by an abundance of loving, good-hearted people that I can depend on. But sometimes I think I’d like to talk to someone who isn’t emotionally invested me, who isn’t biased or who isn’t looking to me to be any kind of point of reference. You know?
I don’t want to pour all this onto a friend or a family member, as much as I know they’d support me, I think it would be unfair. My experiences and feelings are too heavy for me to unload onto a person who isn’t trained or experienced in managing it. I’ve spoken lightly to friends before, I do it often but I am glad I realise that it’s time to speak to a professional. It’s time to take full responsibility for my mental health and take the steps necessary to help me maintain it.
I love the woman that I am and all that I represent, but I need to love the other part of me too. There is a sad, vulnerable person who has been cut deeply by the past, and all I’ve done over the years is suppress her. It’s taking it’s toll, as I’ve mentioned about I’m not sleeping properly and I haven’t for while. What I know and what I feel, neither of these connect with each other. I want to make peace with the past but first I have to unpick it so I can understand exactly what it is my subconscious is holding onto and plan the steps I need to to take to let it go.
I know it’s not easy for everybody to find someone to talk to, but I’m hoping if you’re reading this you at least feel encouraged to try. Free Your Mind have an online peer support group, which is well worth joining if you need a safe space to talk. You can join here. You can make a start