Today is Bell’s “Let’s Talk Day” … a day to talk about mental health and raise awareness and funds.
As a person living with PTSD, I am grateful for the Let's Talk initiative. It can be very difficult to explain that you aren't able to go out / work / do things even though they sound fun and interesting / carry on a conversation / stay awake / go to sleep / cook dinner / focus on a movie ... because your mind isn't letting you do those things.
It's invisible ... it is 'all in my head' ... and it's real.
If you’ve been reading here long, you’ll know that I have made a commitment to speak openly and honestly about what it’s like to live with a mental health problem. If you look up posts tagged PTSD, you’ll see … I’ve had quite a lot to say. It’s just one person’s perspective, one person’s experience … but I figure, every voice added to the conversation helps shed light on what was once (and still often is) a subject treated as a ‘dark secret’ or something to be ashamed of.
When those of us who live with the challenges of a mind that is not working as it should are honest about what it's like, when we share our experiences and challenges and successes, then others who don't have to live with this kind of hurt will understand … and then they will have a better idea how to help those of us who live with this all the time.
I want to thank all of you who have treated me with such kindness and support through these difficult times. I was afraid to speak up and speak out – but I have been met with nothing but love and support.
If you’re hurting, find some words and ask for help. If you haven’t got words of your own (sometimes it’s hard to find the ones that express how you feel accurately, and sometimes, just saying anything is so hard you just can’t find the energy to power your own voice) … feel free to use mine. Print off the blog posts and take them to your doctor, email links to your loved ones … it is a hard journey, but with help – and we need help, we can’t haul ourselves out of this Darkness on our own – we can find the Light again.
It gets better. Hang in there. If I can help … I’m here, and I’m listening.