What does Mental health look like?
Exploring what exactly does mental health look like during Mental Health Month...
What is mental health?
According to mentalhealth.gov "Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health this important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood." If you or someone you may know are suffering from mental health problems it is best to catch it early. Signs include lack of motivation, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, fatigue, confusion, feeling hopeless, and partaking in harmful activities such alcohol, drugs, and sexual promiscuity.
May is Mental Health Month, during this month, Mental Health associations, mental health professionals, and more bring awareness to mental health. Including the struggles, the signs, the different illnesses, and how to reach and maintain a healthy mental health. Many of us, me being one of them, we try to take care of everything and everybody, instead of taking care of ourselves. For each of us taking care of yourself looks different. For some that's healing from trauma, forgiving yourself, forgiving others, pampering yourself, loving yourself, and in my case just allowing myself to feel.
Everyone has their opinion of what mental health looks like. To the outside world I'm sure I look confident all the time, but deep down I am someone who is able to maintain normalcy despite what I am going through mentally because it allows me to focus and transform that energy into my appearance, my business, and others. But since starting my self care journey I have been forced to focus on myself, confront my pass, heal, and develop healthier habits that not only make me happy but also increase my femininity!
As a feminine woman, you have to confront your pass in order to heal, to be a better woman for your future self, spouse, and children, and to maintain your femininity . There's no way you can be your true confident self without healing...
Mental health transparency...
Because of the stigmas associated with mental health I typically do not share very personal stories online for fear of judgement, being looked at as weak, being looked at as "crazy", or an attention seeker. But because I want to truly help others by being transparent. I decided with this blog I would share my very personal experiences with mental health.
I've always been a pretty "high strung" person, even as a child, what I did not know at the time was that it was all related to anxiety. I feel like most of us, even as children suffer from anxiety, we are constantly trying to control the world around us. We are trying to make things happen how we want them to, and when this happens we really need to rely heavy on our faith and trust God who is always in control. If you are suffering from anxiety my very first blog was about easing anxiety, be sure to check out the simple steps I explained here.
Depression and Suicidal thoughts.
When I was 15 going on 16, my cycles became irregular, as with most women. Therefore my doctor recommended I start birth control, it was Ortho Tricylen Lo, to be exact. It was supposed to regulate my cycles but what it ultimately did was something much worse. About 2-3 months into taking this birth control, I became manic, my anxiety increased, I started suffering from depression, and I became suicidal. I am currently in therapy and have identified many things that could have led to the depression and anxiety that I did not realize until now as an adult reflecting on my life. But as far as the mania, suicidal thoughts and harm I brought to myself I can say with confidence that I did not feel any of that until being on "the pill".
I do not consider myself a typical suicide survivor because my attempts were not as severe as most suicide survivors, and for I can only consider myself as blessed. In my case the mania i experienced and the pressures at the time led to me constantly feeling like I had nothing to live for, that I did not want to live, and that I would be better off not living Those harmful thoughts led to some horrible habits; I began to partake in self harming habits such as sexual promiscuity, being a "people pleaser", lack of motivation, and when I couldn't handle it all I started cutting my wrists. It started with smaller butter knives and then escalated to larger steal knives.
If it weren't for a regular trip to the school nurse, things honestly could have gotten worse. One day I went to the school nurse for a regular women's exam, and she asked the regular physical questions then went to the mental questions like is there anyone harming you, are you harming yourself, etc. After many probing questions I confessed about the cutting, and the sad feelings I had been experiencing like never before. Sometime after that I was then taken to the school guidance counselor and my mother was called. This was probably one of the hardest conversations I have ever had to have with my mother or with anyone. I was really trying to handle my emotions, thoughts, fears, which only led to manic episodes which I tried to handle all on my own which only made matters worse.
Now after this I only saw the therapist about 2-3 times after the initial time. And I had not gone back to therapy since then, until about a month ago, and I couldn't be happier, especially because this time I chose to go to therapy on my own, I was not forced like I was 15 years ago and it's been one one of the best decisions I've made lately.
Again I do not consider myself a traditional suicide survivor, because my story did not end like most and I definitely did not have the guts to do more intense harm, my heart goes out to anyone who has. As far as cutting my wrists, it happened over a course of about 3-4 months, after going to therapy we all agreed it was best to get off the birth control ASAP, because it was causing bipolar, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
My mother to this day constantly check on me and at that time kept a close eye on me made sure I was never around sharp objects, etc, as a good mom should, she was very concerned and to this day I am not fully sure how she handled that being the mother of a suicidal teen all those years ago.
My heart goes out to anyone who is suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, or any other mental illnesses. Know that you are enough and that it gets better, I am living proof.
My journey to a healthy mind.
Being in therapy for about a month now has been a true process. I have had to face myself in ways that I never had to do so. Have had difficult conversations with not only myself, but also people in my past that hurt me, that I hurt, and that I just felt I needed closure, clarity, and healing from. Therapy is not a band-aid, nor is it a quick fix. It is meant to be a journey, a process to help you work through your illness, struggles, feelings, traumas, etc. It allows you to confront everything, feel it, and grow through it and/or learn how to cope and heal...eventually.
Tips for self care.
Healing is an internal job, you have to really want it. No one can make you want to be happy. You have to want it yourself. Here's 5 tips that I've been following to help me when I'm feeling anxious or depressed, and again you have to do what works best for you!
Talk about it, start a journal!- Start journaling your self care and what you are doing everyday to take care of you.
Pray and/or meditate.
Practice breathing. (especially if you suffer from anxiety)
Practice mindfulness. It's really fun!(Click here for some mindfulness exercises)
Go to therapy. Your friends and family, nor do you, have all the answers. Get help from an expert. Do your research and vet them properly, be prepared to take accountability in order to get something out of the experience!
My message to anyone battling suicidal thoughts.
Anyone who is feeling anxious, depressed, or even suicidal. I just want to let you know that I am here for you, I am here to listen to you, lend advice, do something fun with you, yell with you, listen to your fave song, or anything that you need. I just really want you to know that you are enough, you were always enough, and please stop trying to do it on your own! I want you to unapologetically put yourself first and love on you non-stop. Put your happiness, well being, and healing over everyone self care is a must!
And most of all I am proud of you, especially if you read this blog all the way through that's the first step! Thank you so much for your support and I hope you were able to take something from this.
To further the conversation be sure to head to IGtv as always.
And if you need to talk to a trained expert immediately please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline. 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
#coffeeandmascarablog #mentalhealthmonth #mentalhealthawareness #suicidesurvivor #selfcare