Mental health is something I can talk about all day and I think it’s time we do. For generations mental illness has been a taboo subject and even in 2016 we have hardly opened the door to the discussion. What we don’t discuss are the things that create shame.
I can’t say I was always on the acceptance bandwagon though. For a long time I fought the label of having a mental illness. I was just an angsty teen and that was me. From the outside looking in though people saw it much more differently. Sure I had the basic teenage rebel thing down, but my mood would change as quickly as the wind. It was unpredictable. Even worse though, I tended to take out my aggression and anger on the people I loved most, leaving a trail of hurt feelings in my wake.
I fought off medication for years. Going off and on at my own will. I’d swear them off as happy pills and false being. I didn’t want to be a zombie that was mind controlled by the big pharma companies, I wasn’t a chump. I continued that trend until after Violet was born, but then I got severe postpartum and knew it was time for a change. I had to be there for Vi. I didn’t want to think my erratic ups and downs were anything about her and I certainly didn’t want to ever hurt her emotionally if I could help it.
Once I got on a regular pattern with the medication I could feel the difference and it didn’t go unnoticed. I had been so wrong about my “happy pills.” I was never ecstatic or over the moon giddy. I was level headed. There was no longer these two extremes of anger and sadness. I could get through the day without getting emotional or upset. I finally got to see the world in a clearer way and I haven’t looked back since.
We’ve been taught to brush, floss, eat healthy, immunize and wear sunscreen yet there is no talk about how to take care of your brain. It’s time we retrain ourselves and society to take our mental health just as seriously. Just like any other disease early detection is key. I’m not telling everyone to go swallow a pill and everything will be ok. I just want people to address that mental illness is as real as diabetes. Not everyone has a brain that is full of sunshine and rainbows 24/7 and that is OK! You are not alone.