Mental health is something that has always been a topic of interest for me. Growing up my mother was a mental health nurse so, I was raised to always express how I felt if I needed to. Even from a young age I’ve always been in touch with my feelings and discerning of how others felt too. Later in life however this became a problem for me. Being overwhelmed by everyone else’s emotions on top of my own began to dominate my life. Particularly in my last year of sixth form when my living circumstances changed.
I began to notice that going through these changes effected how I felt about my entire life. Everything started to feel grey or overcast and before I knew it I was spending each day depressed, barely motivated to get out bed or talk to anyone. I’d wake up and spend each day alone (besides my limited interactions at sixth form) and come home and go straight back to sleep. I was miserable. Despite all of this I kept telling myself that this is normal. It’s normal to be feel sad and I don’t want to burden anyone by discussing how I feel. This continued for sometime until one day I thought to myself there has to be more to life than this, right? Something has to be missing in my life. And so I began to pray. I prayed for a way out, for God to guide me in a better direction and to surround me with the right people. Thinking that all my problems would now be solved I continued each day, ignoring the ‘elephant in the room’ that was my mental state. Unfortunately this is how I stumbled into a toxic relationship.Looking for love to fill the void that was consuming me I fell into the arms of someone who appeared to have it all together. He was charming and loved God and I thought to myself yes Lord thank you this is what I’ve been praying for. Later down the line I realised he was so damaging for my mental health and was going through more than I was. We were two struggling people making each other worse and calling it a relationship. However being around and supporting someone suffering from and an actual mental illness began to put things into to perspective for me. Is this how I want to be? Living life on an emotional rollercoaster, stuck in a cycle denying that I need help? This was the wake up call that I needed to get up and make a change. I decided to look into counselling and began to surround myself with more positive people. Focusing on getting closer to God and working on my studies as opposed to filling the void that God was already working on.
Nearly a year later, I can now look back and see how far I’ve come. I’m happier, stronger and just generally filled with more joy. So the general moral of this story is that if you’re struggling with your mental health or feeling lost and trying to fill a void, don’t ignore it! Seek help, surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging. If you know of anyone suffering with ill mental health, support and encourage them, don’t give up on them and they’ll get through it. ~ N
“Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self “ – Karen Salmansohn