It's October 10, World Mental Health Day. It's a day dedicated to removing the stigma of mental health conversations. A day when we're not supposed to be ashamed to talk about our mental state, in hopes of making such conversations normal.
And it's not easy to start that conversation.
I've had anxiety and depression issues since I was a teenager. I suffer from migraines on a regular basis that are often triggered by my mental health. i flinch every time I hear Lynard Skynyrd.
For someone raised among rednecks and ither denizens of the South, this last is a real problem!
Recently I shared some of my past on Medium where I opened up about child abuse. This is where many of my problems began.
For someone raised in that environment I can honestly say that the internet has been a massive boon to my well-being. The internet, for all of it's trolls and flamers, had still been a place where I've found friends to support me through rough patches, people to interact with when I couldn't leave my house, and willing ears that helped me understand I wasn't alone and wasn't some freak for what I was going through.
To all those who helped me through my down periods, thank you.
Being depressed or anxious doesn't mean that I cannot function in society. it doesn't mean that I can't be successful at work (I am!), can't go to parties (I do), or walk around drooling. It means I have to face additional challenges to be successful at work; it means I often don't want to go to parties; it means sometimes I want to just lay around and drool on my pillow.
Having depression and anxiety means I fight every week to do what I need to do. It means that I'm grateful every day for my husband and children as they give me motivation to get out of bed and go be a responsible adult. Anxiety does not mean I can't be confident... it just means I've thought over every way this could fail, and I'm finally convinced there's a chance of success.
Go, give a hug to someone in your life today and let them know that you're there for them. It'll mean a lot.
And if you want to leave a comment below and start a conversation on this topic? Fantastic!