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I’m Talking

I’ve never been one to hold back on talking about how I’m feeling or what I’m going through – for sure not on my blog, and sometimes in real life too.  It has never been a secret that I’ve struggled with anxiety for many years, and that I’ve experienced an acute worsening of that anxiety in the past year or so.  It’s no secret that I’m currently taking medications and actively seeking counselling to help ease my anxiety.  I’ve been open about my struggles with abuse, depression, recovery, insecurities, poor self esteem, and any other issues in my life that have affected my mental health.  Despite all of this openness and honesty, I still struggle every day.

I struggle with the fact that it’s not always acceptable for me to talk about how I’m feeling openly.
I struggle with the knowledge that being vulnerable, asking for help, and seeking support has often left me stranded and reeling with struggles greater than what I dealt with before.
I struggle with finding the balance between what is enough and what is too much; what is right and what is wrong; what is my issue and what is not.
I made a resolution this year to stop struggling with the psychological issues and insecurities that contribute to my overall mental health.
Unfortunately, I haven’t stopped struggling: I’ve just stopped talking.

I thought that talking about it was contributing to the problem, but as the weeks pass I am beginning to realize that not talking about it is the real problem.  And why do I (and everyone else who struggles) make the decision to stop talking?
It’s because talking makes everyone else uncomfortable.  If only talking about mental health – and everything related to it – was acceptable and encouraged rather than feared and avoided.
Perhaps I wouldn’t be struggling so much.
Perhaps writing on my blog and talking with a psychologist behind a closed door wouldn’t be my only “acceptable” options for discussion.
Perhaps engaging in mutual and reciprocal honesty about our mental health would make everyone’s lives a little a lot less difficult.

So here’s what I want to say:

I live with anxiety everyday.
I constantly struggle with low self-esteem.
I was in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship for far too long.
I have struggled with not blaming myself.
I thought I had it figured out, but it is a constant process of changing
I’ve been rejected for trying to talk – and that makes me want to close the door.

Mental health is more than a diagnosis – we are all involved and we are all affected to different extents.
I might have no “reason” to struggle with this issues, but I do.
And, that’s the truth.

I have tried to open up and be more vocal about who I am.
I have allowed myself to be vulnerable – to show everything about the real me.
I’ve really only ever met resistance – or rejection – or a lack of understanding.

It’s one thing to talk, but it’s another thing to listen.  Talking about Mental Health means that we all have to participate – we all have to be willing to listen as well as being willing to talk.  Talking without sharing can lead to stronger feelings of isolation: “Why do I feel this way but no one else does?”  Be willing to share – give and take – in the efforts to deconstruct the myths around mental health.

Today we will work on talking.

Tomorrow, let’s work on sharing.

11 thoughts on “I’m Talking

  1. I was just telling someone that I need to write about my depression ,but I am currently too depressed to write, which hasn’t happened to me before. Thank you for reminding me that writing here is a form of talking as well, that helps ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like that many times. I always want to write stuff and I never do – for many reasons, but usually because I just don’t want to think about it more. I’m glad I got you thinking about it a little.
      There is a huge movement in Canada today called “Bell Let’s Talk” Check out the twitter hashtag #BellLetsTalk to get more stories of people sharing about mental health today.

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      1. Ah, so that’s what that is! I remember it from last year now that I think about it. I was wondering how you and The Hook had the same types of posts today 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so not alone in your struggles. Keep writing. Keep sharing and keep reaching out. There are many of us listening because we walk a similar walk. A friend from across the Lake Ontario.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you, Lake Ontario buddy! I’ve never actually been to Lake Ontario (bad, bad Canadian), but I would like to get out there sometime! As for talking and reaching out – I don’t plan on stopping, even if there are major setbacks!

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    1. It can’t come soon enough. Unfortunately, it will take a long time to get to that point. I just wish that struggling with anything remotely related to mental health didn’t = losing friends and supports. (PS hope CaRMS is going well!)

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  3. I occasionally have a run of days when I’m depressed, and it’s the pits, so I can understand how awful it would be for it to continue for any length of time. Fortunately, my anxiety bouts are far shorter – I don’t cope at all well with anxiety. Do you think this might be at the root of why most people are unwilling to talk about your problems – we can listen, but don’t know how to help, and that makes us feel uncomfortable.
    My sister was depressed for about a year, eventually got better with a combination of sleeping tablets and anti-depressive medication. In all that time, I hated that nothing I said helped her (it was frustrating – I wanted her better!) I also have a friend with severe anxiety, she’s also currently on medication and doing well, but when she was bad, there was nothing I could do.
    I think journaling is great – have you tried writing by hand? I read somewhere how handwriting makes more connections in our brain than typing does, and in my personal experience, I often find solutions to my problems as I write about them in my journal.
    Do you think it’s better to talk to other sufferers than it is to talk to non-sufferers? Maybe there are support groups out there? I hope you find some solutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand how frustrating it can be for the people on the outside, but I think what they forget is that it is about 100x harder for us. It is so wonderful knowing that people are there for us even when they can’t help. Leaving us behind because you can’t help – well, that just makes it more difficult. I don’t think it matters if it’s other sufferers or non-sufferers, as long as it’s someone who is willing to listen, share, be honest, and be there no matter what.

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      1. I agree for the need to stick around and try to support our troubled friends, but I was looking for an explanation for why some don’t. I guess what you’re doing – letting people know how you feel and talking about it will help raise awareness.

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