Today is World Mental Health Day.
A day we should all be talking about.
Trying to dispel the stigma.
Mental Health problems, either directly or indirectly, affect us all at some point of our life.
Just like Autism, they are often hidden disabilities.
People may look like they are thriving but they are barely just making it through the day.
Beneath their smile and laughter they may well be battered and broken.
A smile can hide so much.
There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling.
It is OK to not be OK.
Mental health problems can also affect you physically and makes you feel a tired you have ever felt before.
Battling mental health takes more strength than many people can ever comprehend, that constant battle with your own mind.
The repititive nature of going to bed with the same demons you have to wake up and fight everyday is exhausting.
I am not afraid to admit that I have mental health problems.
With the support of my family I sought help and am working through them….
….I will always be working through them because mental health problems cannot be cured, just managed.
Being a parent of a child with Autism and other disabilities I have extra anxiety.
Extra anxiety on top of mental health problems I have nursed throughout my life.
I get bad days, they happen when I least expect it.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like you want to crawl away and hide.
Like everything is too much.
I want to put the Autism into a box and put it away.
Those days you feel you can’t cope.
Those days I cry through sheer frustration.
Through anger, that I can’t control your own child, that I can’t control my own mind.
Me the adult, cannot control my own child.
My logical mind being bullied by the illogical demon.
That hurts. That is hard. That feels like failure.
But I get through the bad days because of the good.
Because of the achievement and progress I have made.
Because of the help I sought…..because of the medication.
Because my heart is bursting with love and pride for the child you have raised.
Because of the challenges they face daily and we are the one person they can trust.
We do it for them.
But it is ok to have a bad day.
It is ok to say you are not ok.
To say you are struggling.
This is not failure, this is not weakness.
This is life. Real life.
People with mental health problems are not monsters….they are your family, your neighbours, your friends.
The condition doesn’t define who they are.