When I sat down to write this, I was struggling for words and I had writers block because my head was not ok. You see writing is something I really love to do it’s my happy place but it’s also a place where I can also struggle. What I do know is when I write I write from the heart, so I knew I had to be real and I had to be myself. So, I decided to write about what I do best wearing a smile.
Living with a fake smile for a long time eventually becomes exhausting we lose who we are as a person and we lose our self-worth. Now when you add in the mix the stress of employment, parenting, family, bills, debts, relationships, friends, housework etc. All these become huge and when you can’t keep on top of it little by little things slowly start to fall apart
I think I can say that for a lot people battling depression and pretending to be ok becomes an act… a skill we master just to get through the day. Hiding how we really feel becomes easier and easier till it’s just not easy anymore. We get to the point where we are tired of being tired, we are fed up of hiding, we are sick of not getting the help that we need, and we get to a point that we have enough of living.
Clearly not every person gets to point of not wanting to live but we do get to the point in our life where we question our own existence, our purpose and are reason for being here.
Now, to a lot of people who have never gone through this… this probably feels like we are overreacting, over sensitive and just having moment. The thing is we know that what’s going through our heads are negative thoughts a result of past/present trauma… but unfortunately the thoughts and feelings are extremely real to us.
I know the stigma of mental ill health is changing but just not enough. People are still scared to speak up and ask for help. we plaster the smile across our face then cry into our bed sheets and pillows silently of a night exhausted knowing tomorrow we have to do it all over again.
You see I have hidden my mental health for way to long till I couldn’t do it anymore. I had two choices… I could either end it all leave this world and become one more statistic and hope that my children and family can move on. Or I could fight this and show people that living with mental illness is possible. No matter what days you are having you can get through it. That just because you are hurting and struggling it does not mean your weak, a failure or your unworthy it just means your ill.
Over time with the right help and support you can get better you can improve your quality of life and you can be happy. You just have to do one of the hardest things that living with mental illness takes away from you and that’s the ability to make a change and improve one thing.
That could be leaving an unhealthy relationship, changing your current circumstance unfortunately for some that’s leaving their children while they get the right help. You have to do a lot of soul searching and be a little bit selfish to get well again. Sometimes people won’t agree with your decision but know… it’s not their decision to make. This is your journey to get well, heal and better yourself.
They will never truly understand your decisions, they can’t understand you and your mind, how you think or feel. If they truly 100% understood, then it means they have felt the pain and torture you have been going through. We all think we wouldn’t do something till we have to make those choices.
So, until they are at the point of making those choices for themselves then it’s not their business or decision it’s yours. You should never be made to feel guilty about any healthy choices you make to get better, as they come from you and not influenced by anyone else.
I have lived most of my life by other people making decisions and choices for me and that has gotten me know where. I was unhappy unhealthy and very unstable so the last few weeks I have made some huge choices and decisions for myself and while I know some people will be hurt. I am starting to feel stronger, happier and mentally clearer.
Will this solve all my issues NO it most certainly won’t, but it is a step in the right direction to make me be a better, stronger and happier person overall. And if I am mentally stronger, I can continue to make better healthier decisions for me and my children.
My last thoughts for you: stop wearing that fake smile the right people actually see through it, stop pretending you’re ok when you’re not and stop lying to yourself that things will get better when your making no decisions that actually benefit you.
Do start being a little bit selfish start thinking about what you need to make you a better version of yourself. Build a small support system of friends that will actually give a crap about your mental illness and wellbeing. People who will actually support what you want not what they think is best. And the biggest part is start living your life for you!
This is your time to take back a little piece of your life mind and soul… NEVER GIVE UP being you!!!
Written by Gemma Gilfoyle