Mental Health... What does it look like?

I had been thinking all day about what to write for my social media post for 'World Mental Health Day' and I though why not just to me. So here is what I wrote.

I don't think about mental health on World Mental Health Day, it's part of me everyday.

What do you see when you look at the two pictures above? Happy right? You wouldn’t think ‘Mental Health Problems’ right?... these two pictures were taken at two different lowest points in my life, where I was having suicidal thoughts, where I didn’t want to wake up, shower, go out or talk to anyone... but I had to because life HAD to carry on.

The first picture was taken over 10 years ago after I separated from my ex husband, it was a hard time. It was the first time I experienced what depression was and I spiralled into a dark hole very quickly, I lost my job and lost my true self. I didn’t know what REAL depression was because I was a bubbly, carefree person who loved living life to the fullest. If it wasn’t for my family and friends who didn’t give up on me I may not be here today. After I came out of severe depression I vowed to myself that I would NEVER let myself get into that dark place and would seek help as soon as I saw the first signs. You know the saying ‘Never say Never’ ... it’s so true!!!

The second picture of me was taken just a couple of months ago where again I was in that dark hole but this time the dynamics were different... I now have a 5 year old son who depends on me! Yes I’m responsible for a little life who needs me so I couldn’t just give up. So I stayed strong, smiling, carrying on with life as if everything was ok because I HAD to be strong for my son. You see he was born with serious heart condition for which he’s had 3 open heart surgeries, the last one was back in January 2020. Yes, he’s doing really well but the condition isn’t ‘FIXED’ it’s just making the best of the worst situation so the worry is always there at the back of your mind of how long you have with him.

So when i saw the first signs I made sure I got help from my GP but the tablets they prescribed made my so sick I couldn’t function, I got counselling but this time I couldn’t shake it off. I became more irritable, angry, frustrated and it all came out on my loved ones and one day I broke! I was lucky my to have my mum there with me at the time who just listened, let me sob like a big baby and then she did the one thing I will be grateful for, for the rest of my life. She told me to basically told me to SUCK IT UP because I HAD to think about Aaron. At first I was shocked then she told me everything will be fine, that she’s there for me, that I’m not alone and those words felt like a life line.

People tell me that I’m brave, I’m strong, I’m an amazing mum and that means a lot to me! But I’m just a regular person, a person who has Mental Health Problems and now I’m not afraid to admit it because it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

So the moral of the story is don’t assume just because someone is smiling they’re not struggling. Make sure you check up on your loved ones, your friends, your neighbour! If you see something isn’t right let them know you’re there for them and when you talk to someone be a bit kinder with your words because you don’t know what they’re going through and your words can have a massive effect on their wellbeing!

If you're struggling please don't suffer in silence, get help. Talk to your family/friends, for me my husband is my rock, he listens to me without judgement, without opinions just listens. If you don't feel comfortable then seek help from the following organisations.

If anyone is struggling, please reach out, get in tough. I'm here to lend an ear and listen.

Alpa x