I am not perfect, and if you follow my blog you will know this, and also know I am not ashamed to say it. I think most of us agree that perfection is impossible anyhow! If you are a perfectionist then you will be fully aware how impossible it is, and the stress it causes us when we try to achieve the impossible task of perfectionism.
Perfectly Imperfect I like to say.
I recently downloaded the “calm” app onto my phone, because I haven’t been so calm lately. I had heard positive things about it, and although I usually only download free meditation apps I decided at this point I am happy to invest some money into my mental health and wellbeing. Besides I am still on the 7 day free trial, so I can choose to get rid of it if I want to. Anyway my point on bringing that up was this quote I came across on the app that to me sums us up pretty well, see if you agree.
I couldn’t agree more! I recently wrote a blog in which I was open about having anxiety, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a supportive comment! It took me a week to hit publish on that post, do I? Don’t I? I discussed whether I should with a couple of people close to me and they were not all that encouraging. They said it was personal (which it is) and that I don’t need to share it (which I knew I didn’t have to do), but I honestly felt that withholding that part of me was like acting like I am embarrassed, or ashamed and to me that is only adding to the stigmas already out there!
Now I am not naive to think that little me typing away about a personal issue will help a lot of people, but if I can reach just a few people then I am proud. To write a post about anxiety whilst having anxiety isn’t easy, but I just couldn’t sit here and ask you to be authentic if I can not do the same.
I am shocked by the reactions of many people close to me, those who have owned up and shared similar experiences, that is why I love this quote so much. There are so many of us who fight this battle, and those who don’t usually know someone who is. I watched a TED talk where Depression was referred to “every families little secret”! And from the people who have opened up to me I am finding that to be the truth. I had someone say to me “you don’t need to tell people everything“. That is true I don’t, I can choose what I say, what I reveal and what I don’t. No one should force anyone to share things they are not comfortable sharing. But this was my choice, a thought out choice and one I will not apologise for. I don’t share everything, I don’t tell my readers every detail, they don’t need to know what I ate for breakfast, or what I am wearing whilst I type away, but I do feel that I want to share the fact that I have anxiety because if it helps one person, inspires one person to open up to a loved one, or seek help, or one person to show more compassion, or understanding to a friend then it is worth it for me!
Writing is an outlet for me, you could even say it is like therapy, just like anyone who journals it helps get things off our minds, my journal just happens to be accessible to the public, and not everyone is comfortable with that. Still it is not their choice. (They can choose not to read it if they don’t like what they are reading.)
More and more the stigmas are being broken down, stars like The Big Bang Theory comedy actress Mayim Bialik talks openly about her struggle with depression, the singer Camila Cabello has opened up about having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and One Republic’s front man Ryan Tedder also battles anxiety. Simply type into Google Celebrities who suffer mental illness, or football stars with mental illness, athletes, artists, writers and you will find out that as sad as it is, mental illness is affecting or has affected so many lives. It can be scary when we hear the stories of amazing people like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell taking their lives, but there is hope for anyone living with Mental Illness! Many amazing and inspirational people are living with, and having successful lives despite battles with Mental Illness, like Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Zayn Malik and others. They are an inspiration.
One of the hardest things is the stigma. Having health issues of any kind is a battle, but when comments are thrown around like ‘snap out of it‘, ‘just be happy’, ‘be grateful for what you have,” “stop being dramatic‘, it makes it so much harder for people, and men especially when told to “man up’, or ‘toughen up princess‘, to open up! I am not sure why anyone thinks it is OK to throw hurtful, false and degrading comments out to people they are supposed to care about. I get it is not easy to understand, or relate to people with mental health issues when you haven’t experienced them, and it’s ok to struggle to understand, but try and educate yourself, and remember that lack of understanding does not give you the right to degrade, put down, or bully those who are already fighting a battle!
Let’s get real! No one wants to experience these feelings, imagine being in a place where you feel unsafe, vulnerable, alone, now imagine someone or something you are afraid of is coming towards you, now picture yourself frozen solid and no matter how hard you try you can not run, you can not even scream and you know you are about to be attacked! You know it is a dream and you are saying to yourself wake up! Wake Up NOW! But you can not wake up, that feeling of panic stays with you. Just imagine . . .
Now imagine someone is standing there and they can reach out and let you know you are not alone, or they can say “man up!’ Or “just be happy“! You are gripped with fear, with sadness, with irrational thoughts, self loathing, and someone treats you like a joke. Please imagine that. It is hard to isn’t it.
I don’t expect people to understand, just don’t be careless with the words you say.
So don’t ask me to be ashamed, don’t tell me I have to keep this to myself. People don’t need to know, but why can’t they know? If they want to judge me, or anyone else I know with personal battles, then they can do so, I can not control anyone, I can not change anyone, but I can choose how I will react to them, and I choose to not be silenced. I am a fighter, I am proud to be honest and to be seeking support. I am blessed to have the most amazing support, and I am surrounded by love. No I am not perfect, I have been through many battles in my life and this will be another battle scar I will wear, but not one I will be ashamed of.
Please just think, before you hurt people. If you are struggling please seek support!
Again . . .
Thank you, Mac xx
Free apps below,
Smiling Minds; find out more HERE.
1 Giant Mind; find out more HERE.
The Calm app does cost money, but you can check it out HERE.
If you wish to watch the TED talk, you can find it here https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare