by Conor Murphy

 

The feeling of drowning while not even in the water. Not being able to breathe, even though the air we normally breathe is there and surrounding. Not being able to face the day, so deciding to stay in bed to avoid anything unpredictable. The thought of talking to another human being making you anxious, scared and frightened. 

 

If you are familiar with any of these feelings, or if you’re constantly in the loop of doing some of these things, I stand by you. To those of you who are lucky enough to not have experienced these feelings, or who don’t have to stay in your beds all day to avoid even the thought of an unpredictable day, I envy you all. 

 

These feelings, while a common occurrence for yours truly, are undoubtedly even worse for others, some of which I’m aware of myself. Mental health problems, or ‘Mental Hell’ as I like to call them, are not unusual, and are more common than you might think. 

 

While these problems are increasingly being dealt with and talked about, the problems are nowhere near at an end, and they won’t be anytime soon. We must be careful in the ways which we speak, which we comment on, and those who we mock, or tease, or anything of the sort. People are more fragile than you might think, and words can hurt more than daggers ever can.

 

The next time you think that a particular person staying in bed all day is lazy, that someone not being ‘social’ or not talking to others at a party is ‘strange’, ‘awkward’, or ‘weird’, or even that someone having a breakdown is being ‘overdramatic’, think again. Think long and hard about what you say, as many people, some of which you may even know, are going through things right now that you cannot even fathom. 

 

To those who are struggling, all I can say to you is, it will be extremely difficult. It could be short term-pain, it could be longer, and it normally is longer. The possibility of a solution will seem impossible, and it will seem even more so the longer it drags out. Just being ‘you’, will suck a lot of energy out of you throughout the day, while you try to act happy for those surrounding you. The things which used to seem so ‘simple’, such as eating, sleeping, getting up in the morning… These will all be some of the most difficult things you can do in a day. 

 

Despite these hardships, these difficulties, and these seemingly impossible solutions or outcomes, you are worthwhile, you are enough, and you mean something to the world. You mean a lot to some people. Your life is worth fighting for, even if you end up being the only one fighting for it. 

Surround yourself with people who care, people who have your best interests at heart. It’s hard to know who’s there for you and who isn’t, but it’s easy to spot the ‘fair weather’ people. You’ll be surprised, but the outcome of this brutality, and this hardship that you’re going through, will show you who is really there for you, who is really a friend. Some will step up to the plate, and this is a very important thing to grasp.  

 

Talk. It makes more of a difference than you might realise. Whether it’s talking to someone you know like friends or family, a therapist, or just someone who cares. It’s worth it. People are there to help. They want to hear your side of the story, and I urge you to tell them exactly that, YOUR story. 

 

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