There has been a lot of mental health mess in my small corner of the world recently.
It has, to be completely real, been exhausting and overwhelming.
So many people dealing with mental health challenges on a dire, and even, heartbreakingly, fatal level.
I cannot put into words how devastating it is to witness.
We need to talk about it.
I said this is a page for REAL. So I will not cover up my own recent mental health struggles.
Until a few months ago, my mental health was under control. I had been on and off a medication since my 20's, but for many years I was able to manage it with other methods.
But not now. I am 40 and I am on a wild roller coaster ride of changing hormones and severe mood swings. It reminds me a lot of a couple decades ago when I was pregnant.
It is out of control. Unmanageable. It is turning me into someone I don't like.
It is straining my marriage and killing my energy and making it so, so hard to get out of bed.
I decided a month ago to talk to my doctor about it and get back on a mild medication. I am one who will avoid meds if at all possible, but I will not refuse if it is necessary.
Friends, for me, at this time of my life, it is NECESSARY. Dire. Life-changing.
We can say all the right words about mental health awareness and putting a spotlight on it and changing the system and breaking the stigma, but if we remain quiet about our own mental health struggles, we are letting it defeat us.
I won't. I can't.
Because at a 7th grade girl, I told NO ONE that I was having suicidal thoughts. I told no one that I couldn't sleep at night, was cutting myself, and felt utterly alone.
I kept it hidden for a decade. I became a shell. Often I hated myself.
Boy, doesn't get more real than that.
Now I understand that that wasn't me. It was an imbalance in my brain coupled with self-doubt and insecurity.
I wasn't born to be anxious. I wasn't born to be depressed. I wasn't born to live at a fraction of my potential.
There are tools available to make changes and improve my quality of life. I don't have to live life in my own dark shadow.
By calling it out, I take my power back.
So this is me. Taking my power back.