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Content Warning: Reference to abortion
As with many of the meme’s I follow answering the questions or following the idea provided for the weekly prompt isn’t essential to getting involved with the Sex Bloggers for Mental Health meme. Which begs the question why I am going to do just that, especially when answering the above question is incredibly uncomfortable for me.
When you’re struggling how do you get support from others, loved ones or partners?
When I am struggling I tell no one. The worse I feel the less I share. I pretend to the best of my abilities that I am fine and try to distance myself from people and start to consider whether I’d prefer to be a hermit rather than continue being included in the social circles I am entwined in. I can tell when I’ve hit the lowest point my minds goes to because I just want to throw everything I’ve worked for away and start again. This is rarely, or never, what I want and doing this repeatedly would eventually destroy me.
What actually happens isn’t that I abandon my life everytime things get tough, instead it gets to the point where I feel so low, so shit and so lost that I will find someone I trust and just unleash my thoughts, this is usually when I am so bewildered my feelings and usually by an issue that has tipped me over the edge that I desperately search for someone to help me find logic and order again. Sometimes this is the doctor, sometimes it’s my Dad and overtime, more and more it is Bakji I confide in. Not least of all because he sees past all my bullshit and knows when I’m not feeling myself.
When I terminated my second pregnancy, which you can read a little about it in, My Kinky Roots I didn’t talk enough. I was heartbroken, not until that experience did I understand how truly physically painful emotional heartache could be. Still, I tried to be strong and stoic, I repeatedly told other people ‘ don’t worry, it’s okay’ and ‘I know I did the right thing’ not once did I break down and tell them all to fuck off with their good wishes because unless they could bring my baby back to me safe and well they really couldn’t do a damn thing to help me.
An outburst like that would have been rude and unfair but it would have been real and it would have got me talking about how I was struggling, which we should all be doing. Anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD, bipolar, whatever your specific struggle is with no one should be dealing with it alone. I am an idiot for doing it this way, I know I am, I know I need to change my ways and reach out more often, but it’s so bloody hard to admit that I can’t do everything by myself. I’m also sorry if this is also your approach when you’re struggling, which means I inadvertantly just called you an idot too. I’m sure you’re not, because all my readers are delgihtful, but seriously, we should not be struggling alone! Not a single one of us.
This is why I’m trying to join in with Sex Bloggers for Mental Health more, I am not the font of all knowledge when it comes to this stuff. I am however someone just muddling along trying to improve the ways in which I tackle my mental health and hoping that if we come together to discuss all the varies ways in which mental health features in our lives we will feel less alone and more able to reach out if we need to.
Growing up my Mum had depression and my Dad had a nervous breakdown. My Mum never really spoke about her depression, and she was mildly devastated when the doctor said I was suffering from it too. While my Dad was in the hospital for his mental health I had moved to another country with my Mum and Step-Dad and by the time I returned he was well again and that was that.
I wish we’d talked about all these things more. Especially as I was on holiday with my Dad when his breakdown took effect, a 6-year-old and a grownup who has finally been worn down by the traumas of his life does not make for happy holiday memories. My Dad and I talk about these things more now, including my finally getting a fuller picture of why he reached the position he did and I 100% get it, but I wish growing up mental health hadn’t been such a ‘hush-hush’ topic.
Someone once commented on this situation and how I deal with sharing my emotions and said it was a shame that I’d been taught that sharing my emotions was wrong. I remember feeling very defensive that they viewed it that way and even now I don’t think that’s an accurate summary of how I grew up. I wasn’t taught that my depression, my anxiety, my grief etc were bad things that shouldn’t be shared. I grew up in an environment where sharing those things might upset someone else and so we protected each other by managing alone.
We were all misguided and I approach things very differently with my own son. When he was with me when I had to pick up my prescription for Sertraline and he asked if it was medicine because I was poorly I explained to him in words he could understand what I needed it for. It’s not a secret that sometimes Mummy’s brain goes a bit silly and needs a little bit of time and kindness to get it back on track.
I also encourage him to tell me anything that worries him, even if he thinks it will make me sad, or angry or if he thinks it’s silly. I’ve explained that sometimes it might be silly but that doesn’t mean it matters any less. I’ve also explained that sometimes it might make me sad or angry but I’d rather we worked it out together regardless of how it will make me feel than for him to worry about things alone.
Now if only I could take my own advice. That would be progress.
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