It's funny. Today is National Mental Health Awareness, and I almost typed that in my title. Then, without batting an eye, changed the title to "Self-Care Means Self-Aware" at the last minute. Why? I think because growing up in my 80's kind of world the word "MENTAL" anything carried with it completely and totally negative nuances. I realize daily that I still carry some of that with me now. Being "mental" meant you were crazy, and boy did I feel that way at times. Believe it or not, I have even been called "mental" by mean individuals in my life. I can promise you that it was not meant in a funny- ha-ha kind of way, rather it was intended in a you're-flat-out-nuts connotation.
Growing up with depression in a time when we still weren't giving "real talk" in society, was actually really difficult. I know for myself, I battled every day from the age of 17 to just to take my daily medications. I remember being diagnosed as Bipolar at one point, and being hospitalized. I felt insane, abnormal, completely crackers. I remember being angry a lot of the time because I couldn't be "normal." What in the Helen Keller is normal any way? And who gets to decide what normal is anyway? Is there a committee? Where do they meet? I have a few things to say to them!
But, really friends, I am constantly in awe of the awareness of the world now. Today. 2019. It's like we have our eyes wide open. All those mean things we called each other as kids, that were actually really traumatizing, they are officially not okay to say anymore. I like that. Now I know some may say we are turning our children into pansies in this generation. Being to soft and such. And I can see the prior generations point of view. I get putting on your boots and going to work, even if you don't feel like it. I do. To some extent I completely agree with it to. Nothing that you can't "work" out, right? If we are being "real" though, there truly are things you can't just "work" through or out. Sometimes you have to go through it, the storm, the battle, the best way you know how. The best way you know how isn't always the same for everyone.
When it's darkest in my mind, battling looks like me in my pajamas, for the second day in a row, with the lights off in my room, barely breathing. Darkness of the mind is like a black hole with no end in sight! It's sucks the joy, light and life right out of you. By the way, did you know it's genetic! (More to come on that topic later). It can't and doesn't always go away with "work." Don't get me wrong, I am not saying we should all just give up normality and sit around eating dark chocolate and ice cream in our pj's with the lights out everyday. What I am suggesting is that when you can't fight, when it's just to heavy, and you need to focus on just breathing in or out, do that. Just that. You have my permission.
Being Self-Aware is Self-Care. Do what you need to do. Tell them I said so.
Now, I am going to go change my title back to Mental Awareness. Or should I? What do you think? Let's all end the stigma.
In commemoration of the solidarity of this day, I am attaching a free coloring page. All you need to do is download the file. P.S. Only love not viruses included.
Be you. Be amazing.