struggles

Maybe The World Isn’t Ready Yet – But Let’s Make Them Be

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day: a day I have previously shared details about my life and my struggles in hope that others will no longer feel alone in the way they feel.

If you read my New Year’s post, you may have seen that I have been posting less about my mental health due to an uncomfortable conversation I had a few months ago. While I so desperately want to go into detail about what that conversation looked like, I feel like I can’t. The conversation, while well-intentioned, left me feeling ashamed of having poor mental health despite my desperate efforts to not let it affect my work ethic or my interactions with others. I had never felt that way before.

Seemingly, despite our efforts to break down the walls of stigma, stigma still exists. People don’t want us talking about our mental health or want to be associated with people who do. As I was told, “perhaps the world isn’t quite ready for this.” And you know what? Perhaps they’re not. But how do we expect things to change if we aren’t actively trying to change it?

Someone I know had said to me shortly after the vague conversation (which I continue to refer to but won’t talk) that perhaps people don’t want any potential for violent outbursts to occur. This to me states that people still equate mental illness with violence. Guess what? That’s a myth. Here’s an article from CMHA Durham: https://cmhadurham.ca/finding-help/the-myth-of-violence-and-mental-illness/¬†. I had said to that person that it was a myth. They had said to me, “well, maybe people don’t know that” to which I shouted “BECAUSE WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.”

We can get so caught up in how we appear to others. Heaven forbid we show a glimpse of the negative aspects of being human. Social media fosters a platform to be “perfect.” Like hey, check out my perfect life on instagram. Let me use this snapchat filter to hide the dark bags under my eyes. We are humans sharing human experiences. Yet the idea of how we appear to others is more important than caring about other’s experiences. Saying things like “how are you?” can go a long way, but only if it’s genuine. Check up on your friends, family, and coworkers.

I feel like we have come a long way in mental health advocacy. We have. We need to keep going as there is far more work to do.

For now, I continue to feel like my voice has been suppressed and I am picking myself up piece by piece. But I carry on – I continue to keep fighting the good fight. Without talking about these things, there cannot be further understanding. Stigma fighters, continue the conversation by using #BellLetsTalk on your social media posts today.

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Whole 30 Day 22

How I’m Feeling

First, I want to mention how I’m feeling outside of the Whole 30 experience since this is also a blog to share my anxiety experiences. If you read yesterday’s post, you would have seen that maybe yesterday was not exactly a great day. Today, I will say, is much better for the most part. I went to the hospital to visit my friend. Although he was not awake, I enjoyed speaking with his wife and family members there. Praying for his lovely family and friends.

Whole 30 wise, I feel pretty good. My energy levels continue to be high. I managed to stay full from lunch until a late dinner at 8pm tonight. I appear less bloated in the mirror and I am beginning to regret not taking before and after pics for my Whole 30 Journey.

What I Ate

Breakfast: egg muffins! I forgot I froze some. So glad I found them.

Lunch: White chicken chilli. Also forgot I froze some of this as well.

Dinner: roasted bacon brussel sprouts with buffalo chicken tots from one of my new favourite recipe books: The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel. So easy and so tasty!

An Anxious Minute

Inhale…

I am trapped in my mind and sometimes, I don’t know how to escape it.

A rolling script plays in my mind with all of the items on my to-do list. The anxious side of my brain is screaming. “You have to get them done! What are you doing sitting around?” The depressed side of my brain lacks motivation and drive and I sit still and lifeless. The response effort just to type this post is almost unbearably too high.

Two minutes ago, I was asked, “how are you?” Without hesitation, I responded, “Good, thanks, how are you?”

I’m not good. Why is it so easy to lie like that? Putting up a fake front to others is so easy for me. Almost too easy. If I go too long putting on the fake, happy front, I literally feel exhausted afterwards.

Exhale.

I forget to breathe sometimes. Steady breaths. I haven’t been to therapy in about a year. I was tired of paying someone to teach me techniques I could learn from Pinterest posts.

Inhale.

Five things I see: a door, the tv, my boots, my phone, my thumbs typing this post.

Exhale. It’s not working. What a stupid exercise.

Inhale.

How many other people around me are pretending to be someone they’re not?

Exhale.

My current heart rate has decreased from 104 to 88. I have turned on the Relax function on my FitBit.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

This will pass, I tell myself. This will pass.

It’s just an anxious minute.