Talking About Mental Health Saves Lives

I think I was always an independent child, it’s hard to know because my memory’s bad and often our perceptions of self are a little skewed especially under the influence of childish naivety. But I think I was definitely headstrong and absolutely stubborn. I’ve always wanted to solve problems first myself, even if I can’t open a stiff jar of Marmite by myself I’ll have several attempts before reluctantly handing it over to a stronger friend.

I’m no different with mental health, when I first went through it all I told myself it was a problem I could deal with alone, that my feelings and emotions didn’t need to be passed on to anyone but myself. I thought it’d be easier that way, less stressful. After all if I never told anyone, they’d never know and they’d never judge me, they’d never look at me differently. This was my mentality. But it comes to a point, an impasse where you realise that every emotion, feeling and outburst you’ve kept to yourself, every time you’ve bottled it up, you’ve made yourself worse. I remember realising this and panicking because it meant I had to tell someone and that terrified me – I genuinely thought I’d be marked as the local crazy girl.

I’m not sure why I was so convinced I was even keeping it as a secret. Ever since I was a kid, every emotion every feeling i’ve ever had has been slapped across my face. Like a cheeky child that just stole biscuits from the cupboard, my face says it all. I’ve always been told my face is animated and I can never really hide how I’m feeling. So even though I was convinced that telling friends and family how I’d been feeling would be like dropping a bomb, everyone sort of knew something wasn’t right and I don’t think anyone was shocked.

But this won’t be the case for everyone, for those lesser animated faces among us, not telling someone how you’re feeling can literally kill you. I’m not even sure how strongly I can reiterate this because it’s just so true and so important. A problem shared is a problem halved. And I used to think this meant, by telling someone about your problems they then take on that burden and you get to worry about it less. No. They won’t necessarily be able to magically fix all of your problems, but the simple act of speaking about it, venting and talking through emotions is a life saver

Speaking about your mental health, opening up about your emotions and feelings is never, ever a burden. Even the simple act of feeling it, of feeling whichever emotion you are is not a bad thing. I’m a big believer in embracing whatever it is you’re feeling, good or bad. Be grateful that you’re alive and feeling things at all. And regarding sharing, please do. Pride can kill you, thinking that nobody cares about your problems can kill you, being a closed off emotional mess that never tells anyone how they’re feeling CAN KILL YOU. If you take one thing from this article, take this. Understand that every emotion, feeling and thought you are having is valid and should be accepted. And tell people how you’re feeling, it helps. I promise.