When I started this blog, the goal was to eventually open up about my battle with post-partum depression. That small step turned into a huge one and lead me down a path of saying A LOT more about the world than I’d ever planned. As a friend describes it, my posts are often unfiltered. I often speak from the heart, saying exactly what’s on my mind. But that’s not always been the case.
In a recent conversation with my mom, she mentioned the fact that I hid what I went through after the birth of my daughter so well. That’s true. I mean, do you know the looks I get when I tell people I actually considered putting her in a washing machine?! There was a time when I couldn’t even say that without feeling like the worst person on earth and breaking down sobbing. But that was my reality – that was the point I was at. When I look back on it though, I realize that I HAD to go there so I could see it in others.
You see, people who have mental illnesses are good actors. Depending on our circle of friends and family, we feel we have no choice but to put on a happy face. We can’t let our Christian, happy, always together, pray without ceasing, Jesus will work it out, namaste, meditating group know that we are hanging on by a thread. At least we think we can’t. I can’t tell you how many times I was ‘jokingly’ called crazy, too emotional, etc by well meaning friends and family. I would laugh but on the inside I was hurt. It hurt because they really didn’t understand that I had a mental illness. They didn’t understand what it meant to have a mental illness. They didn’t understand that although we all throw the word crazy around as a joke, I’ve felt crazy very often.
Because I’ve put up that front, it’s made me more aware of what others may be struggling with. It’s made me more aware that a smile doesn’t always indicate happiness and that all those happy Facebook posts could be a cover. It’s made me realize that my unfilteredness, my truth, may just help somebody.
I know somebody, somewhere, reads my blogs, my Facebook posts, or even hears the things I say and thinks I should keep them to myself. But I know for a fact that it’s having an impact. And more than anything I want to let others know that it’s okay to not be okay.
May is Mental Health Month. I’ll be reposting blogs and links throughout the month. If you or someone you know thinks they may have a mental illness don’t be ashamed to seek help. Here’s a good place to start…
Until next time…