It seems fitting that I should come back to my little corner of the web today on World Mental Health Day as the main reason for my absence is just that; my mental health hasn’t been that great. As some of you know from my Time to Talk post on the 5th of February I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder with Obsessive and Depressive episodes.
Right now, I am in the midst of a bit of a heady mix of them all although the good news is after waiting quite a while (my phone assessment was on the 8th of June!) I have finally been placed with a psychologist and we had our first session. She seems knowledgeable and I think we will work well together. So here’s hoping this is the start of recovery for me… or at least a little closer to living “normally”.
Recently I was asked where there any good points to my mental illnesses and if offered, would I get rid of my mental illness if I could? So I thought I would share my answer with you here today. My answer is in reference to when my mental illness is under control and not as volatile as it is at the moment (aka “a good day”)
So the good bits:
1. I can actually work really well under pressure as I am more or less constantly under pressure in my mind so external pressure doesn’t really phase me too much usually.
2. People find me very open and non-judgemental as I know all too well how hurtful judgement can be.
3. My experience has given me the drive to help others in the situations I have been in and to battle against all mental health stigma.
4. I am very emotionally in tune with others.
5. I am excellent at seeing all possible outcomes of any risk quickly as my brain is wired to see all problems far ahead of time.
6. When I’m not full-blown OCD and I’ll I’m actually just really neat and organised.
7. I am humbled that my openness about my mental health has led other people to come to me in their darkest hour and ask to talk. This is what everyone with a mental illness needs. To talk. It really does save lives.
8. I think that when timed correctly aspects of mental illness are a strength. Caring for an ill relative through the night? – insomnia. Need to work out all possible outcomes for your hypothesis for a lab report? – What if anxiety. Making your final draft of your PhD poster to present at a conference? – perfectionism.
Sometimes our greatest weaknesses are also our strength.
Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people. Next time you are out and about look around you. For every 4 you count one is likely to be just like me. We hide it well. So well we often joke with each other about it. But inside our heads behind our smiles, we need someone to say it’s OK I’m here you can talk to me.
So talk to someone today. Have a cuppa and a chat. It’s good to chat.
Love, GFG x