May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a subject that is near and dear to my heart.
I’m still in the process of posting more about my mental health struggles to let everyone out there know they’re not alone. But, as everyone says, it is difficult to be vulnerable, especially about something the world has given you a difficult time about.
But in light of my recent “flare up,” (my word for it), and because it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought it was the perfect time to make this statement: it’s okay not to be okay.
The Ups and Downs
Life goes up and it goes down. I know, I know—that doesn’t help you feel any better. It doesn’t help me feel better, either. I hate it when someone tells me that.
However, because it has its ups and downs, your anxiety and/or depression will follow suit. Difficult and stressful times can absolutely affect your mental health. So, there will be times when you feel better, and there will be times when you feel worse. And sometimes, no matter what, you just feel bad.
That’s just reality because you’re human, and being a human means having feelings. And sometimes those feelings are overwhelming.
Give Yourself Permission to Not Be Okay
You’re not trying to feel the way you feel. You didn’t put it down on your calendar, and it certainly wasn’t your intention to have it affect you the way it does. Things can even be going well on the outside, but not so well on the inside.
And that’s okay!It’s okay to feel the way you feel!
But don’t expect anyone else to give you permission, because they won’t. You are the only one who can do that, and you have to be okay with it.
Mental health issues aren’t something you choose. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you meditate, how well you eat, how often you go to therapy, or how cognizant of your situation you are.
Give yourself permission to feel the way you feel without judgement, without self-hatred, and without self-recrimination. It’s one of the most important steps in helping yourself.
I know it’s not that easy, but I know, from experience, it helps.
And you know what? I give you permission—feel the way you feel. Don’t apologize, don’t feel bad, don’t get angry at yourself. Take a deep breath, feel your feelings, and then take the next step. Reach out if you need help. But don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t feel this way.