It is hard to talk about mental health. It’s still hard for me, and I have too many years of practice doing it.
These days, I make a conscious effort to be open about my mental health, but I wasn’t always that way. I’ve felt the undercurrent of depression since before I was in high school. When it started to get debilitating, I hid it from myself and those close to me. It took me months to tell my parents and even longer to tell anyone else. How could I describe what I was feeling if I didn’t understand it myself?
The Problem: The ‘Sick-Enough’ Debate
My depression has always tried to convince me that I’m exaggerating. My depression tells me that I’m not sick — instead, it’s some collection of personal flaws of mine. I’m not demotivated or fatigued; I’m lazy. Sensitivity turns into weakness; sadness turns into entitled whining and even more weakness.
Well, I’ve (finally) made the decision to share my blog on my personal Facebook page this Tuesday for World Mental Health Day! For the last few years, I’ve watched awareness days and weeks pass by while telling myself each time that I’ll post something, say something, but I never have. Every year, after it’s too late, I regret not posting anything.
Mental health awareness, education, and advocacy is super important to me (for mostly obvious reasons) and I’ve rarely shied away from talking about it. Except when it comes to Facebook; I’ve never really mentioned anything about mental health on my most public forum.
I’ve talked a little about how nervous I was to start my blog, and I think that the same goes for posting it on Facebook. But ultimately, it’s something that’s important to me. I’m not ashamed of my illness and it’s important to talk about it, so I will.