The Time To Talk About Mental Health Is Now

Today is World Mental Health Day and it’s time to talk about it. Not only today, but every day. If you would break your leg or catch a cold would you think twice about going to the doctor or be hesitant to talk to your family and friends about it?

Well, a couple of years ago I broke my soul. This didn't happen over night and I am sorry, but I can't tell a story of a spectacular accident. My soul started to crumble when I was little and it continued to do so for a good few years. Until one day the pain became overwhelming and I began to struggle.

At this time, I had no idea about mental health - no idea where all this pain inside me came from. After all, I didn't fall or hurt myself. I thought it was all in my head. My pain was ‘only’ emotional pain and surely that couldn’t be real. I was afraid to talk about it, in case people thought I was weak or just making things up. For as long as I could I pretended everything was fine and for a while I even managed to fool myself.

However, I began to lose control over my emotions, myself and my entire life - the pain took over!

I couldn't see the light anymore, no reason to smile or giggle. It was like I was living under a heavy dark cloak. I stopped eating in the hope to regain some control. That worked for a while. Every time I lost another few pounds, I felt that there was still one thing I was in charge of. However, all I did was weaken my body and the pain still swept over me continuously.

You can still see the scars on my arms today from where I cut myself - the physical pain of the cut relieved the pain of my soul for a few minutes and I felt almost like before. My ten minutes of pain free normality, if you will. Hurting myself quickly became the only way I was able to cope with all those intense emotions.

I couldn't sleep, I couldn't laugh, I couldn’t love, I couldn’t enjoy, I couldn't think straight. There were moments I couldn't breathe, days I didn't make it out of bed and weeks I didn't leave the house. I didn’t live, instead I survived - barely!

If only I had known about mental health, if only I knew that this pain was real and that it is ok to talk about it. If only I had the words to share, I would have found others out there, fighting the same battles. Maybe then it wouldn't have come this far. Maybe I would have been brave enough to get the help I needed so much earlier than I eventually did.

I am healthy now - mentally and physically, but if I would have known about mental health - as I did about physical health, I could have been healthy for a long time.

Start talking about mental health today!

Start a conversation! Talk to your kids, your sisters, your brothers, your friends, your neighbours, your co-workers, your customers and clients - talk to everyone you meet - make it as normal as breaking a leg.

Talk about it!

Not only today, but every day - you might save someone from years of pain.

You might even save a life!

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