I thought the most challenging part of this whole process would be changing my ways and talking openly about my mental health instead of doing everything I could to cover it. I thought after a few weeks it would feel normal to be so open and I would have turned a corner – but it isn’t the case.
Now don’t get me wrong, my time to change blog has been the best and bravest thing I think I’ve done and the response has been phenomenal. I’ve actually helped some people and that’s all I want to do, to have the ability to be a voice and speak out in order to help. I may not be a high-profile individual, I’m no celebrity, I’m not amazingly popular and I certainly am no medical expert but I tell you something, I’ve helped. I personally think that’s the key, just to be honest about the reality of mental health and the more
‘everyday’ people that do it the better. How else is it going to become a normal part of daily conversation? How else is mental illness going to be accepted – and believe me there are still so many people who either don’t understand or are down right ignorant.
Since I’ve spoken openly about my views on mental health and answered many question people have had regarding my mental health, I’ve realised that attitudes are still very mixed. Some people have thanked me and confided about their own struggles and others have asked ignorant questions – I think my favourite was;
‘Oh so your boyfriend knows about your illness, and he accepts that?’
Yes. He does. He accepts it just as I accept his faults because every person has them and we should be proud of them, it makes us how we are. To answer any other strange questions no it doesn’t make me ‘hard work’ or any less likely to be a loving and faithful partner. No my medication does not turn me into a zombie, it doesn’t make me feel happy ten minutes after taking it and yes my family ‘put up’ with it too. Oh and it’s surprising how many people have said ‘you don’t look like you’d have mental issues’
After saying all this I’m not angry about questions like these and strangely they don’t offend me because it means we are talking about mental health!! Some views may be ignorant but if ignorant views are not expressed they can’t be changed. I don’t mind answering these questions, I would much prefer it if it means that changes will be made in ridding stigma and I don’t think everyone asks these things to be cruel, some people just don’t understand.
Despite everything I feel positive steps have been made, I’m feeling more confident in myself and I am thankful for all the continued support off others. I hope this hasn’t come across ‘preachy’, the intention isn’t to offend but to just note down my own personal views. I still get nervous to write these but I’ll continue to do so. I am still doing well in my recovery, still have a loving family and boyfriend – looks like they ‘put up’ with me after all.
Thank god for that