Since May is #MentalHealthAwareness Month, I thought I’d share something personal I’m going through right this moment.
This moment, this day, I’m struggling. Struggling with depression, because I live with depression and there are some days it hits me harder than others. While talking to Music Man I realized that in my case, oftentimes my depression can come across like I’m upset with someone, when in reality I’m just trying to figure out what the heck is going on in my own head. And that can be an all-consuming task, something mothers rarely get the luxury of doing.
We never get to only focus on one thing, because often times there are many things taking our attention away from ourselves and other things. But occasionally we HAVE to stop, because life.
In my case I quickly realized that battling with depression and having a darker day meant that I needed to accept that the day I had planned wasn’t going to happen-and give myself permission to be okay with that. Luckily, there are only a couple of things I HAVE to do, and the rest can wait. So I’m saving my energy for what absolutely has to be done, and giving myself permission to reschedule the rest of it for another day (hopefully tomorrow), while I stop and treat my depression with some comfort food, mindless television and crocheting.
The stuff that can’t wait-taking care of my kids, making dinner, etc…that will happen. The rest of the stuff that can wait-work, cleaning my bathroom, putting some stuff away in the garage, etc…that will wait. Because I’m not okay and it’s okay to not be okay and realize that you can’t do it all.
Giving myself permission to not be okay has been the biggest gift on my journey with mental health. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child, and I was making them worse by not allowing myself to be not be okay. Now I try and remind myself that no one is perfect, I’m not superwoman or supermom (I actually hate it when people call me that, even if they are saying it as a compliment), and even if I was a superhero of some kind, even they had their issues (Thanks to my teenagers I’ve seen almost every Marvel movie and I LOVE the fact that the “heroes” don’t always act heroic, because no one is perfect).
So if you’re like me, and chances are-you are, because one in five of us is, I beg you to start giving yourself permission to not be okay, and to ask for help when you need it. Over the years the help I’ve needed has changed, but the fact I will always need help hasn’t. So please reach out, ask for help, and accept that you are okay not being okay.
If you are someone you know is battling with a mental illness, I strongly urge you to visit The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) for resources, information and help. Even if you don’t know someone…chances are you do, and they just haven’t told you. Mental illness affects one in five people-adults and children-and we need to start making it a safer world where they feel okay with speaking up and seeking help.