Today is World Mental Health Day – the 25th World Mental Health Day. Do we say “Happy World Mental Health Day?” hmmmm that doesn’t seem right, does it.
I wish this was just another day and not one that we needed to call attention to the millions around the world who live with a mental health condition of some sort. But it’s not just another day, and it is a day which is deserving of attention, if for no other reason to help raise awareness of how common depression, anxiety and the other conditions truly are. It’s a day where people like myself can help to put a “face” to a disease by choosing to speak out if they choose to, in order to help humanize their conditions in some way.
For me, its also a day to be consciously thankful. I’m thankful because, no matter how bad some days are, I know that I have it pretty good these days – I’m aware of others who are struggling and want them to find what works for them. Because without the medications that I religiously take, I know what my life would be like – I’ve been there, I’ve seen it and it isn’t pretty. Because my doctors and therapists have partnered with me to ensure I maintain where I am now – we’re in this together and will keep moving forward. Because I have insurance and I’m able to get both care and these medications that enable me to be “normal” or at least to function on a day-to-day basis. Because I have some of the most incredible people in my life who check-in and sincerely care about what is going on with me and my life – who listen and who ask the tough questions sometimes. Because of this outlet, I’m able to put my thoughts to “paper” and share with the world – even if it’s really only beneficial to me. Mostly I’m thankful for the path, the trek that I’m on and that I’m not the me who was in hiding a few years ago.
Having chronic major depression like I do really can suck – I hate that I have to take medications, that I’ve gained all this weight, that its harder to really laugh somedays. But it has made me get in touch with who I am (sounds hippy dippy I know) but I’ve learned to listen to myself and to keep an eye on my energy levels, my sleep, my moods in ways that most people don’t ever pay attention to. For that, I have to respect this condition and work on living with it day in and day out.