In a nonstop world it seems like we are drowning in endless responsibilities. Our own health often falls low on the list of things to worry about. When we do fall sick with a cough or fever, we go to the doctor to get the tools to feel better. But when our mind falls sick with depression, anxiety, or any other form of mental illness, we feel like we have to suffer in silence.
Mental illness is exactly that: an illness. It affects your mood, your relationships, your physical appearance, and every other aspect of your life. People sometimes belittle this fact by stating things like, “Just think positive!” or “Your life is great; you have nothing to be sad about; others have it much worse.” This only deepens the pain by making an individual’s emotions seem unjustifiable.
Whether you feel joyful, depressed, anxious, or angry, your emotions are justified and real. You have a right to feel what you're feeling and no one should ever put you to shame for them. Putting on a smiling face to make it seem like you are OK will not make you OK. Pretending to be happy and healthy when you are falling apart inside isn’t going to make you strong.
Asking for help, talking about your emotions and working on what makes you happy—that’s what makes you strong. Realizing it's OK to be selfish, especially when it comes to your mental state of mind, will help you heal. Refusing to apologize for what you feel, even when they may not seem warranted, will help you fight insecurities.
Everyone goes through trying times in their life, and for a large number of people, mental illness is that battle. While it may seem like you are suffering alone, I can promise you that you are not. There are resources out there to help you cope with what may seem like an immovable darkness. That darkness isn’t permanent. Sometimes it just takes a little effort to finally see the light.