It seems to be a rather common misconception that those who struggle with their mental health are “weak”, or have less to offer than those fortunate enough to have healthy minds.
Can I please just take a moment, on behalf of the one in four of us who suffer with a mental health condition, to call BS on this?!
You think I am weak because I suffer with anxiety, and sometimes the lead up to a small event can feel like torture. You think I am weak because I can get so nervous about something small, that my heart races, and my words stutter, and my hands shake. You think I am weak because some days I just don’t want to face anyone through fear of embarrassing myself. But guess what? You are absolutely wrong!
Although my heart races, it is absolutely full of love and compassion. Although my words stutter, only kind words ever leave my lips. Although my hands shake, they still reach out to help another person in need. Although I fear embarrassment, I still manage to find the strength to force myself to take a deep breath and fight through.
You think I have less to offer because I am depressed, and it is difficult for you to be around sad people. You think I have less to offer because sometimes my depression makes me feel exhausted all of the time. You think I have less to offer because my depression could bring your mood down too. But you are wrong again!
Although I am deeply sad and broken, I still carry a warm and friendly smile on my face at all times, to brighten up the day for others. Although I feel exhausted, I still get out of bed every morning, and I get myself ready and I get my work done, clean my home and cook a fresh meal for my husband. Although I do have depression, I want nothing more than to make others feel as happy as I long to be.
Do you really know how difficult it can be to function day to day, keep up with all of our responsibilities, and continue to smile at others, all the while carrying this huge weight on our shoulders? Do you know the energy and determination this takes? To get up in the morning and keep up with everyone else, despite barely sleeping for several days in a row? To keep a clean home and feed your family despite being barely able to eat anything because your tummy is so anxious?
We are absolute warriors! We fight a daily, relentless battle, and still keep up with the rest of the world. We are powerful, because no matter how our conditions try to tear us down, we dust ourselves off and we try again. However tortured our minds can be, and however cruel the world can feel, we still make a choice every day to keep on going, and to keep on fighting. And we do all of this without many people even being aware of the internal turmoil we are facing sometimes. We are a force to be reckoned with!
We are fierce… We are worthy… We are strong!
Until next time,