Why Mental Health Is Important

10.12.2018

I've tried writing the first sentence of this post so many times now, but I can't seem to find the words to start, however there is so much that I want to say.

A couple of days ago was world mental health awareness day. Although, yes this is great and everyone should be aware, it's not a topic that should be spoken about for just one day and then forgotten about the next. It's something that I feel strongly about as I myself struggle with mental health, as I'm sure a few of you do too. Everyone should be aware of mental health and it should never be brushed aside, especially if you know someone who is struggling. Half the time, the people that brush mental health aside are the ones who are uneducated on it and although it can sometimes be glamorised on social media, it should never be seen as "stupid" or be seen as someone who is "attention seeking".

Although there is no right or wrong in the way that I write this post, I feel like I need to get it perfect as I don't want to leave anything out or insult anyone in any way as it such an important subject. 

I myself struggle with mental health. I've struggled with anxiety since I was around twelve years old and it's not something I ever speak about as I never want to be seen as someone who is just saying it's something I have to fit in because other people have it and the stigma of being mentally ill. Anxiety is something I hear about a lot, but I know for a fact that it is something I have to deal with. I'm often seen as awkward, nervous and shy, but this all rolls back round to social anxiety. I find it hard meeting new people, speaking in front of crowds and being around large groups of people - just to name a few things. During these situations, I tend to freeze, struggle to find the right thing to say as my mind goes completely blank, I shake or my voice goes really quiet when I can actually think of something to say. I absolutely hate that this is something I have to deal with every day, but I also know that I'm not alone. A lot of people see anxiety as being something that's not a big deal, but when you're not the one suffering, it's hard to put yourself in that persons shoes. This also doesn't mean that I don't socialise at all, I don't isolate myself and I am always open to going to new places, but my anxiety does prevent me from doing certain things and it does control the way I feel.

When I was fourteen, I became homeschooled due to a mix of anxiety and depression. I don't like saying that I was depressed as I know a lot of people have it worse than what I did, but I have to admit that I was because it's true and for some reason I'm finding this really hard to share. I spent a lot of time alone when I was fourteen - sixteen, the only people that I spent time with were my family, but other than that I would spend a lot of time in my bedroom, crying over everything and wishing all my worries would end. I would never want anyone to go through and feel the way that I did back then, but I'm so happy that I have overcome it as time has gone by. My mum was the one who helped me so incredibly much during that time and I am so grateful to have had her by my side. I also feel like ever since I met my boyfriend almost two years ago now, I have become so much happier and I'm so grateful to have him as my best friend that I can speak to all the time about everything. 

During May of 2017, I lost two people in the space of two days and I have never felt more pain in my entire life. I still struggle mentally with this period of my life as it impacted me more than I imagined  death ever could. I had never lost someone before this time, but it's not just the passing of someone that hurts, it's knowing everyone around you is also in so much pain, but trying to remain strong. I was so scared that I would become depressed and feel the way that I did a few years ago, but my boyfriend and my family helped me more than they will ever know and I am so blessed to have them in my life. 

It's hard to be the one to open up about your battle with mental health issues, but right now I'm feeling pretty good about getting a few things off my chest, and a lot of other people probably don't realise that they should too. It's so important to talk about your problems and what's worrying you. You should also never be made to feel that your feelings aren't justified and you're problems aren't a big deal. 

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or any other mental illness, I need you to know that you are not alone. Everyone is fighting their own battle, but you will always have someone who loves you and so many people care even if you don't realise it yet. If you know someone who has a mental illness or could possibly be showing symptoms, please speak to them and make them feel safe and loved, even if you're struggling with something yourself. 

I feel like I want to say so much more, but I can't think of the words to express myself, so I guess I'll leave it at that. Since anxiety is something I have to deal with every day, I thought it was only right to share a bit of my story on my blog as my blog plays such a huge part in my life and I want to feel like I can share anything on here. 

Love Always,
Shannon x

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