What. A. Week. Nothing really bad happened but it was just mentally difficult.
Someone in my life was trying to be supportive and asked what they could do to help and I just kept repeating, “Nothing, it’s really all me, it’s in my head and I just have to stop thinking the way I’m thinking.” It didn’t really make any sense to the person…but at least they cared enough to ask.
Later, when I was talking through the scenario with my S.O., I came to the conclusion that it is hard to explain to people that mental health (anxiety/depression) is biological/chemical in nature, yes, but is also heavily influenced by your thoughts. I remember saying, “It is so, so hard to try every day to stop thinking thoughts you have thought for 28 years of life, to completely change your neural pathways from negative, self-defeating thoughts and make new pathways that lead to positive self-talk.” Anyone who has dealt with any type of mental illness can relate to this. It goes something like this:
Co-worker: (walking around quietly that day and not interacting very much)
Me in my head: “Hmmm, I wonder why they’re so quiet. I wonder if I did something to make them upset with me?”
Boss: (is short with you and seems frustrated)
Me in my head: “Oh my God the boss hates me, I’m not good enough at this job, I always do things wrong, now the boss is mad at me.”
Reading through this now I’m like, jeese Rachael, why are you so freakin’ keyed up all the time…but in those moments…the thoughts feel real and true. The only way to stop the thoughts is to remind yourself they’re not true, they’re lies, and you don’t have to listen to them.
I lost the mind battle this week though. There was not enough mental strength, for one reason or another, to tell my mind to shut the f*** up and stop being such a selfish baby. There is no damn way that my person causes all the turmoil, bad attitudes, and bad days of everyone around me (I’m not that special).
I will say, thank God for mothers and S.O.s who understand what you’re going through and are just ‘there’, because without help from others life gets pretty hard. You should never be afraid to reach out to someone who loves you and ask for help. I’ve helped loved ones through some rough patches and sometimes they say, ‘I’m sorry I’m burdening you with this’ or ‘I’m sorry I’m taking up your time’ and yeah maybe you are taking up my time or giving me part of your burden to carry but if I choose to let you then you should let me.
So, here’s to a better mental health week next week and to all those battling your inner demons, one day at a time folks, one day at a time.
Link to Lunarbaboon web page: http://www.lunarbaboon.com/home/
(I’ve been reading Lunarbaboon on Webcomics for two or more years, he really captures the struggles of mental health so well)