When Things Are Not OK
I had to take a week out last week, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was one of those weeks where the build-up was tough, but the actual moment was worse. I had been feeling this coming for a while, but I did what we all did and just kept going.
Truth be told, I am not sure why we keep going, what are we really trying to achieve by putting a smile on our face and pretending all is ok?
It’s ok not to be ok
The fact of the matter is, last week really was just a blip, I know that because I have been at rock bottom and last week was no where near as bad as that. Also, because I have been at rock bottom and managed to get myself (with help) out of it I am now better at preventing blips from spiralling out of control.
However, I still don’t quite understand why we always feel like we have to be ok. It really puzzles me why, as a society, we struggle with people who are not ok. I don’t understand the constant need to be happy, smiley, and positive when the truth is ALL of us have bad days/ weeks/ months/ years.
Why do we push pressure on ourselves, and not just ourselves but each other. When will not being ok start to be normal?
Mental health is so important
What saddens me is when I read about yet another person, famous or otherwise, who has ended their life. I then speak to people and hear about their experiences of the mental health services offered to them and my heart just breaks.
I know what the system is like, it was tough when I was in it, and it doesn’t seem to be much better now. What angers me is, I know it’s not the staff’s fault, these people, like so many people in a whole number of different services and/ or industries are restrained by the decisions of those right at the top.
So much could be done if we just had the resources. However, the majority is living on practically nothing and just trying to make the most of it. The casualties of this? Everyone. It seems like every week there are reports of people who just can’t take anymore. The scary thing? Those are just the ones that have been reported.
The true figure would be astounding
The true figure of mental health would probably be through the roof. When it comes to suicide, very few would make the mainstream national press, I know of a suicide that barely made the local press. However, not everyone who is suicidal will necessarily make an attempt, plus not everyone who is struggling with their mental health will be suicidal.
The most worrying of all, not everyone who is struggling will go and seek help. Most people will keep it to themselves for a whole host of different reasons. I, myself, was in denial for a very long time, and then when I finally did face up to it, I worried what people would think, I worried that no one would care. I was desperate but also paralysed with fear.
What can we do?
If I am honest, I really don’t know. I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. There are already countless awareness campaigns, but these are only as effective as the resources available. We really need major reform, but I am unsure of if/ when that will happen.
All we can do is, as a society, try and be open and honest with each other. Try and make tough conversation ok and normal. In the absence of money all we really have is each other.