It’s Mental Health Awareness Month – We Gotta Talk About It
I’m very passionate about mental health. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and a form of depression. It’s not easy. I see a therapist on a regular basis, whom I adore, and I take medication, which I do not enjoy, but it’s a necessary part of my healthcare. Don’t ask my insurance company anything about that, they have nothing to say as I pay 100% out of pocket for my therapy bills, but that’s not the point of this post.
Too many old-school thought processes tell us to “muscle through” these “tough emotions” and “man up” or any number of other colloquialisms designed to diminish the fact that mental health issues are real and cannot be controlled through sheer willpower. Chemical imbalances in your brain cannot be corrected without medication. No oils, meditation, or other holistic approaches will solve that piece of the puzzle. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be doing those things as well – YES, please do! It’s often a multi-faceted approach. Do all of the things! Go for walks, take breaks, and unplug from your phone/email/social media, but for so many, medication is also part of their healthcare regimen.
The Most Upsetting Medication Phrase I Hear When It Comes To Mental Health Meds
I get most wound up when people say, “I don’t want to take the medication because I don’t like the way it makes me feel.” Well, first, you should talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about that and see if an adjustment can be made. Maybe a different medication can be chosen. Secondly, if this was an issue with your heart, lungs, diabetes, your kidneys, or your liver would you just forgo the medication because you didn’t like the way it made you feel? I’m guessing not. You would absolutely take it because those are vital organs you’re protecting.
Your brain is a vital organ too.
The serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, endorphins, and glutamate levels in your brain are important.
So why are you not prioritizing your brain? It’s the central hub of your entire being. Recognize a difficult truth: one in five Americans live with a mental health disorder, according to NIMH.
I can’t even begin to get into the struggles I’ve gone through with different medications, the side effects, the withdrawal symptoms getting off the meds, and all of the terrible things I’ve endured trying to find the right combination. But I survived. I’m on the other side. I deserve to do what’s best for me. I deserve to be the best version of myself for my husband and my kids.
The Pandemic Plagues On
If we’ve learned nothing from this damn pandemic, haven’t we learned how important our mental health is? How fragile? How much we need human connection? We need to talk about our mental health and offer some shared experiences. We’re still suffering from the consequences of the pandemic and will likely continue to for many years to come, but don’t let your mental health slide on this one. This is the one area we saw significant spikes where people needed help. Make sure you help yourself by getting the care you need or think you might benefit. It never hurts to talk to a doctor or licensed therapist about what you’re going through. We all could use a little therapy – it doesn’t make you crazy or sick. It makes you human. We should all be so lucky to have an amazing therapist to help us!
Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Seize the awkward, spicy disaster of life. You matter. Be well, my friends.
If you, or someone you know, is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit SpeakingofSuicide.com/resources for additional information.
(So, my web designer says I needed to include a bio, though I find this task silly because, if you’re here, you know me.)
I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s a cathartic mechanism when I need release from my anxiety. I’ve had blogs in the past; I’ve taken them down, but I never stopped writing. I simply can’t. My notes app is forever long as it’s filled with pages and pages of different topics. Sometimes I just write a few sentences. Sometimes I write paragraphs.
Recently, I've been writing long essays. My friends and others I hold dear have coaxed me into sharing my work again.
So that's what I'm doing, you wicked, pushy people. LOL
I have no desire to see my writing be anything more than an opportunity to share what I love doing most. I have no interest in this blog reaching the masses.
I thought it would be fun to call it My Spicy Disaster because that's often how I feel. A complete mess of epic proportion. So join me, if you'd like, and let's pretend we're not sitting amongst the chaos crying, but laughing instead.
Or maybe we do cry sometimes, but then wipe our tears and remember one person’s disaster is another person’s … well, who the hell knows …