I remember a previous counsellor that gave me an activity to carry out. Ive always found counselling hard and could never open up about my anxieties but different counsellors have a variety of methods which they can suggest. My task was to write down my worries or fears, read through them think about them then once you have exhausted the list… Burn it and forget about the list and the worries. This helps me an awful lot during the real dark times. I’m not saying this will solve worries but it mentally and physically erases them. Then who knows what a spark could create when you return to your normal, strong self!
So look at this picture… what do you see? A broken leg? Now theres a story that goes with this that meant a lot to me metaphorically. This was actually a picture of my foot in cast after a nurse had to practise on me. Then a thought crossed my mind.. you can see physical illness or injury, but you never notice mental illness.
People close to you may pick up on your mood changes, but aside from those few and I mean very few close people, no one notices. But if you broke your leg/arm for example people would notice and may even question you how did you do that? Then they respond with sympathy.
Now try telling someone that you had a breakdown, you can see sympathy but they cannot respond, thats where the stigma of mental health lies.. Not many people understand and thats ok, those people will stand by us but from a distance. Not many know what to say, thats also ok its probably best they keep quiet.
One family member rang me everyday asking not just how I was, but how I was really feeling. This family member had noticed a change in me way before the wobble. This family member helped me by just calling everyday and checking up on me. I am grateful for this person noticing my downfall after all I didn’t break a bone nor did I have an injury, but actually I was ill and I was suffering. Thank you for noticing, it takes a special person to realise you are ill, even though you look ‘fine’.
Thank you for reading this short metaphorical story. I hope more people begin to understand mental illness.