For the past few weeks I have been thinking it was time to write more on my mental health journey. I wasn't sure what I was going to write about or when I was going to bring the ideas to fruition and actually publish the post. With the past few weeks bringing the tragic news of the suicides of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain I decided that this needed to be published sooner rather than later. My hope in sharing my story is that it will help continue a conversation that I believe needs to be an ongoing conversation until everyone that needs help and care has access to it.
Check out the my first article about my mental health journey as well, here.
My dad and I are very close. We are so similar sometimes, it is almost scary. I have always felt that he was a person I could talk to who would listen to everything that I had to say before weighing in, making sure to understand the situation before. He is a problem solver and a man of action.
Even though my dad and I are very close, when I decided it was time to talk about how I was feeling I was terrified. I was worried that people would not take me seriously or just assume was I was feeling was directly related to my mom's diagnosis. I remember sitting down to talk to my dad and then all of the words I was going to say just disappeared. I remember running to get one of my journals that I had been writing in because I knew they contained the raw and unfiltered feelings.
I remember my dad just holding out his arms to hug me and hold me as I began to sob. He assured me that he recognized how I was feeling and that he would do everything he could to help me whether that was doctors, therapists, medications, whatever.
He was the one who sat with me during my first doctors appointment where we discussed options and decided on a plan for getting the help I needed. He was the one who was always there to listen when I needed to talk or the one that would just sit with me in silence while I cried.
I am so thankful that my dad is the kind and gentle person that he is. He is selfless and always puts others first, especially his family. I am thankful that he recognized my feelings and my situation and took action in providing a way to get professional help.
I know that many people feel as if there is no one that they can talk to about how they are feeling. I beg of you if there is one thing that you get out of this is talk to one person. Find someone you trust and you know loves you and just talk to them. I know that that can't fix everything but communicating your concerns can go a long way. Maybe for you that looks like going straight to the doctor to express your concerns, maybe it is talking to a family member, friend, or significant other. Talk to someone and let them in.
Thank you Dad for being my person, I love you.
My dad, John, and me on our trip to Italy