An Open Mental Letter
*TW: please note, if you are going through something currently with any mental health issue, be gentle with yourself and click away from this blog post. You may find it triggering (thoughts on anxiety/depression). Take a look at the carelines page here for support on Keep Real.
Despite a lot of good things that happen throughout my life, I cannot help but feel that tidal shift sometimes. I don’t like to use those words ‘anxiety’ or ‘depression’ to describe how I feel. Some people relate, but I feel weird saying that I have it; especially when it comes to ‘high functioning anxiety’. So I try and greet this sadness- but it’s a difficult one to put into words.
Some days there are no words.
I’m sure we’ve all felt that at some point in our lives. Around 1 in 10 young people feel this. Not just young, but older too of course. I’m sure there are more that don’t speak or type out how they feel. I raise my hands until now for such an honest, open letter.
I’m currently writing this post on the sofa, it’s around 4:08pm and I am still in my pyjamas. Self care on my days off can either come naturally (because I’m busy), or be a real push to simply brush my hair or make a meal. I tell myself I’m just having a ‘rest day’- but I know that when the evening comes, I’ll be filled with regret of having wasted my day. It’s a familiar event that happens throughout my week. It’s more than a rest…it’s a sadness. I have to be honest with myself.
If I’m on a wave of productivity I will enjoy the feeling and everything falls into place. I’ll be going to meetings, finishing off designs, making plans and ticking things off my to-do list. So then I’ll stop, rest and there will be this black wave telling me to just sit and do nothing. ‘Nothing’ doesn’t come easy most of the time, but when it’s the familiar nudge- it’s an easy trap planned out for an entire day. I even woke up early morning thinking of going for a run and getting up early. When this morning came, I slouched out of bed and gave up.
I’m sitting here hungry. I can’t be bothered to make food, even though I really do want it. The TV has even switched itself off, because I don’t really know what to do with my time. Am I wasting it? Or is this just an average day off for everyone?
Days like today, and writing it down makes me realise that I do still struggle. I struggle to feel upset, because I have noticed my medication doesn’t allow my body to release. I just know I feel down, but it’s like a…numb down. I try to cry, but my body aches instead. My chest tightens, my eyes blur- but nothing more. Do I want more? It’s the strangest sensation instead of before. I was crying every other day, feeling overwhelmed and having bad thoughts before Christmas.
Medication has helped me cope with all of it positively, instead of fighting it- I sit with it. Giving myself permission to just be. This isn’t easy. I get so upset with myself for getting frustrated with how I feel- but I’d rather be this than what I was like before Christmas.
I just know this feeling is temporary, there’s tomorrow and there is hope. Always hope. We all go through extremely similar feelings and it is so difficult to put it into words. Try to write it out, find that source of joy even when you do not feel it.
Have hope, keep going.