May – Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 1949, May has been Mental Health Awareness Month. Read that again, since 1949…
I read that and I sit, and I think. “It has taken 65-70 years for mental health and mental illness to become less of a stigma….”That’s disheartening, no?
What Justifies Mental Illness?
It’s not a diagnosis. That just a label. We don’t need more labels. Maybe sometimes a label helps? Or does a label just help in order to prescribe meds. FUCK MEDS!
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe they can help. They are just so fast to prescribe. For instance, in 2006, I had a horrific accident which was 80% head trauma, 10 days later my father passed away. After that, I took meds. I needed them to survive while I navigated those waters. Honestly, they numbed me. Completely. Without being numbed though, I’m not sure if I would have made it. It was a dark time.
Then a time came when I was able to face the feelings, the pain (both mental and still physical), and wade through those waters.
I believed I was good. The keyword there, “believed”. A story I haven’t shared with many, fast forward 7-8 years, I was in an unhealthy relationship. This wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was a place I shouldn’t have been in. Things were dark and there was a day that I just didn’t want to continue on with. It was a frigid March day, and I sat there, outside. Without getting into much detail. An elderly man walked by. 30 minutes later he walked back by in the other direction….. 5 minutes later he came up behind me. “let’s go back to your car”… That’s all he said. This man I didn’t know, who didn’t know me, put his arm around my shoulder and simply said “Let’s go back to your car”
Simple acts have the power to change an individuals life.
A smile, a hug, a conversation.
After that day, I decided to take my mental health and my ability to shine, much more seriously. I got a tattoo on my forearm to remind me not of that day, but to always move forward.
Just recently I had that tattoo added onto, for me, that was a way to prove that we can always transform. YOU, can always transform your life. And be that through conversations, at times drugs, or possibly just time, YOU can transform.
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Remember This Though, Please…
You don’t know what others are going through. So be kind, reach out, and make time for people in your life.
Really, you’re better off asking “is everything okay”, “what do you need”, because it’s so fucking easy to miss the signs.
Above, I shared a song, “One More Light” if you haven’t pressed play, go up and hit that button. Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, lost hiis life to suicide, addiction, and struggle. He was sober, but lost the battle.
At the time of his passing, the band was riding a high, just about to go on their next North American tour, and then it all came crashing down.
You don’t choose depression much like you don’t choose addiction. Their chart topping release “Heavy”, began with ‘Even when it’s good, I just am uncomfortable all the time. . . .’. If that ain’t the truth.
Those around him saw light, love of life, the best physical condition in his life. But he lost. And they now say that looking back, there were signs.
What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes, we are REALLY good at riding a high, looking like things are perfect, all is good. Inside though, that darkness is haunting. It hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s there…..
So reach out, not just today, or this month simply because it’s health awareness month, every month though. Reach out, do check in’s when you feel they are needed and let the people in your life know that they matter. It just takes a simple text, call, or letter. You might just save someones life.
And YOU Matter Too!
This isn’t just about others. This is about you too.
Even in these times YOU have so much to be grateful for. Right now, you may be feeling all the feels. That’s okay, and it’s okay. to allow those to process. It may not completely feel like it but you will feel better.
How can you possibly start feeling better? Gratitude.
Feel the love that you love like no other. What is it in your life that brings you that joy? Is it skiing the moguls with your sons, is it planting a garden with your daughter? Is it going for a walk as the sun sets or drinking a glass of wine with friends?
What do you have in your life that is simply wonderful, what experiences have you had in your life that have given you so much joy.
It’s far too easy to forget how wonderful life really is. It’s not easy, don’t for a second start to think life is easy and fall into the trap of entitlement.
The sky is still blue, the grass is still green, the sun is still shining. How can you not be grateful for those things?
You also get to be grateful for yourself, and I too am grateful for you. I may not personally know you, but you are here, reading this. That, I am grateful for.
YOU ARE INCREDIBLE. This isn’t to say that you can’t feel sad right now, I just want to watch as you come out the other side of that. Much as the sun rises in the morning after the darkest of nights, your heart will feel light. You deserve that light, even though you may have your own reasons to convince yourself that you don’t. YOU DO. YOU DESERVE TO FEEL THE LIGHT
Feelings will always be there, good and bad. Much like a dog will always be there waiting to lick your plate clean. They’re there. They will ebb and flow, so always try. to be kind to yourself. That’s easier said than done huh?
Tag me in your Instagram posts where you find yourself doing what brings you joy, or makes you feel. @theadventuretab or share your story here. I would love to read what makes you happy. SHARE YOUR STORY HERE