This post will probably come across as over-sharing, that’s really not my aim. I’m also not looking for sympathy or for a flock of messages asking me if “I’m OK”, that’s really not why I’m here. As it is Mental Health Awareness week it felt like a good time to share my feelings and my own experiences with mental health issues.
My blog feels like my little safe space, my padded room where I’m allowed to vent my thoughts and no one can stop me or tell me to “get over myself”, this just feels like a post that I needed to write, something that’s been brewing and stewing away in my head for little while and I needed to just get it down on paper, well “floating in cyberspace” paper as it were…
I know I’ve not been completely “OK” (whatever that really means…) mentally for a little while now. There hasn’t really been any major events or situations recently that this seems to have stemmed from, but the feeling of life getting on top of me has been so incredibly real.
Since my sister passed away in 2017 my head has felt incredibly fuzzy and a roller-coaster of emotions have come with it, something that I’ve never really felt before. For the first year after her dying, my emotions towards it were at their height, I was very aware of my need to grieve and for making allowances for it. Other people were also aware of the fact, it was fresh, it was known and I felt like I was allowed to be sad and have bad days if I wanted them. But fast forward to more recently and if anything, I feel lower now than I did then, when it was fresh and had just happened. I know they say that someone you’re close to passing away is something that you never really “get over”, you just learn to live with it, I understand that, but it’s the assumption that I’m completely fine with it two years on which I find incredibly difficult to deal with. At the time I felt like I had to just jump back into life, back to work and back to routine, I thought it would help. “No good moping around for weeks Molly” I’d think to myself, “That’s not what Jo would’ve wanted” and I’d know that, to a certain degree, that was true. She’d hate to see me struggling or emotional over her, but now looking at the situation, I clearly have suffered by locking my grief away and putting a brave face on.
Anxiety is something that I never thought I had before, it was something I knew ran in my family and affected relatives around me but just didn’t happen to me, but more recently I have definitely felt the full force of it and something I know has stemmed from my grief. I have had sleepless nights worrying about the most unimportant things, I find myself constantly feeling ‘on the edge’ but not really knowing why, I have been irritable and, frankly, a bit awful to be around (sorry Matthew…). I’ve been tired all of the time and can feel my heart palpitating for no apparent reason, I’ve woken up with the most horrendous migraines and have felt terrible for the rest of the day, all in all it’s awful but it’s the reality of anxiety, something I never truly understood until now.
As a society, and as someone who is very active on social media, it feels like we always have to be happy, that to show any signs of sadness is a bad thing, but this is just not something we as humans can do. We all have good and bad days. No one can be perfectly happy all of the time, it’s just not human. One day you feel on top of the world, that you can smash all your goals and that nothing will get in your way, the next day you can be at your lowest and will feel all of your anxieties come washing back over you like a wave. While I am still trying to accept this myself, I know that it is part of life and whether or not others choose to show it, it still happens. For me, I’ve only recently acknowledged what I was truly going through and it’s something that I am still struggling with, something I will have to learn to adapt and live with over time. I am slowly learning to embrace the happy days with open arms but equally let myself have those down days, I’m human and need to express more than one emotion, especially towards things that have happened in my life that are just downright crap.
“It’s OK not to be OK”, I’ve seen this phrase or saying or whatever you want to call it doing the rounds in various ‘inspirational quote’ style forms on social media quite a lot over the years. Every time I see it, it makes me do a double take. It really is OK not to be OK and we need to talk about this more, have those down days, talk to someone about it, you’re not the only one going through it.
Thanks for reading,
p.s I had no idea what photos to include on a post like this, but these were taken on a day where I felt good and I had a beautiful day in the sun.