World Mental Health Day

Its World Mental Health Day and I couldn’t be gladder to wake up this morning. I fight a daily battle to get out of bed. Some days I  spring out of bed as if I were a Dora Milaje in an effort to protect the throne. Some days I am straight up Garfielding it, simply too tired to get up and fight. Then there are other days that I am not tired but not quite in a spring-out-of-bed mood, I lose track of time whilst lying in bed wondering if I have the strength to fight the battles today may bring. On any given day my feet even hit the ground & I successfully get out of bed, I’ve already fought my first battle.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety almost a year ago. I was in an unfruitful job and had been in a relationship that was no longer serving a purpose. But I continually felt stuck because I needed the job to keep an income. I thought I also needed to be in the relationship. In the season of my life, I had just relaunched my site and returned to school so I was feeling really well about ending my twenties on a high note. The job, the car, the bae, the ring, the bonus baby.

Despite hating my job and lowkey despising my fiance’s family. I wanted to be able to blog to you all and tell you “I truly have it all now that I am in my Thirties.”  I would be at work speaking to a customer and just burst into tears. I would look at my wedding gown hanging in my closet & begin mourning my singlehood. I brushed it off that this is normal emotional behavior when thirty approaches. But the more frequent the bouts of tearfulness came, I knew I needed to talk to someone.

I started by speaking to my family and friends who all mentioned they had noticed a change in me. Next, I set up a visit to my primary care provider because I needed a referral for insurance purposes. I figured I would just tell her what was up and that I needed a therapist referral and she would send me on my way. She told me those “bouts of tearfulness” are actually called anxiety attacks. She also told me I need to consider a lifestyle change if I am particularly getting them at my job. She prescribed me some happy pills, gave me a referral to a therapist & told me I should start doing the things I love again like exercising and writing. By the time I got to the therapists’ office, I was tired of speaking about it but I knew it would help. When I arrived for the referral visit the therapist already knew which questions to ask me. By the end of our visit, she told me: “Your doctor thinks you’re mildly depressed and may a touch of anxiety, what do you think of this diagnosis” I told her I came to ask her the exact same question. We laughed and she told me she agreed.

I would love to tell you all the pills and visits were a cure to my anxiety or simply running made my depression go away. But that is the farthest thing from the truth. There is no cure for mental illness there is a treatment. The suggestions from my doctors were simply tools to cope and live with my diagnosis. I had to use the tools and others to get myself out of the sunken place I was in. I had to break up with excuses, let go of the worldly things that were weighing me down like that man, that car, that job, and that weight. Now that I have I want to share one of my tools with you.

Before I leave my home to begin my day of productivity, I stop in front of my affirmations mirror and say these 5 Affirmations:

I hope these affirmations help you.

Studies show 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffers from mental illness.

Take a look at your Squad, your 5 closest friends. Statistics show at least one of you is struggling with mental illness. Then take a look at your Village, the 25 closest people to you studies show that 5 of them are struggling with mental illness and one is struggling with an extreme mental illness that interferes with their daily work or life.  If you know someone in your village who could benefit from this please share it with them.

Be bold. Live out loud & as always remember,

Distress 

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One thought on “World Mental Health Day

  1. Karlise, this is so beautifully written. I’m so proud of you for not only taking care of yourself but allowing yourself to be open so you can help someone else. No matter what happens always remember that you are a survivor.

    Like

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