I’m sick right now. I turn into a roly-poly baby when I’m sick. And I drink too much tea — even more than usual. It’s just the beginning of this cold and I can tell it’s going to be a doozy so I’m making sure to write this Monday morning ramble before I get much worse.
I have more of those important soul-things to say because I’m a sentimental, passionate, emotion-driven person and you’re just going to have to love me for it. 😂
Today I want to talk about mental health a bit. I want to talk about the stigma and the micro stigma and the misunderstandings.
I’ve had my first really scary mental health crisis over this summer. I don’t know if it was the stress or anxiety or if I just kept it all bottled up for too long — all I know is it sucked and I never want to get that low again.
So many things would have helped prevent that low. I still don’t know exactly what it was that happened — I haven’t been to a psychologist yet; working on that — and I don’t know what caused it. It was like my brain got overloaded with information and decided to delete everything but fine dining and breathing.
(what up spongebob reference?)
And I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me. I felt like whenever I opened up to someone I sounded like an idiot or an attention seeker. The unintentional lack of understanding from those around me made me realize just how messed up our world is right now when it comes to mental health.
I think stigma is especially common in Christian communities. Just going to put it out there. Not all of them, but the ones I grew up with at least. Nobody mentions these things and nobody tells you how you’re supposed to deal with except “trust in God” and “keep on praying!”
That’s actually something like good advice and it’s technically what got me through — but I so needed palpable solutions. I needed people to listen to me and not act like I was weird. I needed people to not shut down and awkwardly slide away when I brought up my mental state. I needed people to ask me how I was doing. Heck– I still need those things.
I was made to feel guilty about my anxiety and depression and depersonalization. I was made — I want to assure you, completely unintentionally and as product of common stigmas — to feel as though Christians aren’t supposed to have mental health altercations. As if it was a personal flaw. It took me so long just to feel brave enough to ask for help. I sometimes even doubted that there was a problem at all. I thought it was just me.
I’m getting so drowsy right now, so I have to try and end this.
Guys, I know I’m just shouting this into an internetly abyss here, but for those few echoes out there — treat mental health as a priority. Please.
If it scares you, research it. If you don’t understand, ask questions and learn more about it. If you’re suffering, get help. And don’t ever, ever feel guilty for struggling.
I know it’s so hard to find answers. I’m still struggling — not like I was before, but significantly — and I’m still trying to find solutions. All I know is, I don’t want people to feel as though their struggle is not valid. If you need help, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty for asking for it.
You absolutely do not have to do it on your own, even when it looks like you’re all alone. Know for certain Jesus is right there with you, he understands this struggle perfectly, and he won’t ever let you go.
Take courage, dear heart. God is with you.