Do you know what sucks most about other people’s attitudes towards mental health?
The assumption that because you can cope some of the time, you should be able to cope all of the time.
Today was a day off. I worked bloody hard all week and had some spanners thrown in from all over the place and felt weak and shabby. Despite weariness, I hit all my deadlines and had tons of fun with the kids. Yet I still felt that I should have been capable of more, should have achieved more, should have been more.
That, my friends, is the bullshit created from the expectations of others. The pressure to achieve, be productive, not let your illness get the better of you (insert rolling eyes emoji here).
Mental illness is debilitating. Long term mental illness comes in many shapes and forms, but many vary wildly in their severity from day to day or week to week with little rhyme or reason. My anxiety tells me shit is gonna get bad while my depression tells me there’s nothing I can do about it. I am helpless and worthless and living in disparity.
I know I’m not. I know I am enough. I know I am loved, and love. But mental illness (of some types) takes that knowledge away and replaces it with these dark feelings that feel like the overruling authority in your life.
I don’t have any startling insights here or any answers. Dealing with either anxiety or depression or similar is tough, it hurts, and can be even tougher during periods of isolation. I just want to raise awareness of how tough it can be, and that those who don’t understand or experience mental illness should be accepting and caring.
You don’t have to understand what someone is going through to be kind.
And just because someone can cope some of the time, doesn’t mean that they can cope all the time.