My mental health, is just that. It’s mine. It is my journey, my struggle. My job to get me fixed.
It’s funny. Talking about mental health still taboo. Sharing what is going on in our heads is still frowned upon. Despite more prominence on social media, the tv, celebrities sharing their struggles, prominent experts talking about it, having mental health issues is still something that makes people feel uncomfortable.
What also seems to bother people is how you go about working through or dealing with a mental health journey. How fast you are working to “getting better” or “getting over it” or “being well”.
You see, I am very open about my mental health struggles. It’s not a secret. I am not ashamed and I refuse to pipe down and pretend I am ok to please other people. If my mental health journey makes someone uncomfortable, then that is their problem not mine.
Working through my mental health issues, finding a stronger and better me, learning to manage the anxiety that has lived inside my head for as long as I can remember. That is mine too. I don’t work on a schedule set by other people. Anxiety is not like a broken leg. It doesn’t have a set time to heal and recover so you can be normal again.
I am not working on a set time frame. Some things are so much better. Some things are not better. Some things I am working hard on, to deal with, to help me be stronger. Some things are on a back burner, whilst I wait to be ready to process them.
I will not jump through hoops to meet the expectations of other people who think that I should be “over it” or “better by now” or “should just be getting on with life”.
I am actually getting on with life, all the time. Every day. I get up, I parent my kids, I work on my marriage, I go to work, I serve my community, I am a friend, a colleague. I do housework, I shop, I read, I cook, I go out, and have a life (apparently my mental health condition makes me a recluse, I will remember that the next time I am out and doing something I enjoy with people I like, that perhaps doesn’t suit the expectations of those who think they know what’s best but can’t get past their own misconceptions of what anxiety and being an introvert is about, to see what actually what is best for me) and I live my life.
I do all this whilst working on my mental health. I am getting on with it, trying to “get over it”. But I am doing it in my own time. That works for me.
The anxiety I have lived with, for as long as I can remember, can be triggered by the wants and needs of other people when they put pressure on me to conform to their expectations above mine. I will not allow pressure to heal, to be better, to be stronger, to move on, from people who don’t understand what this journey is taking and how hard I am working to walk it. I have a therapist and a medical professional who support me and are helping me to work out timing and my pace. That’s all I need.
It’s my journey. I will work it through in my own time. I am healing in my own time. Not yours.