Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk day. For every text, call, tweet and Instagram post, Facebook video view and use of Snapchat geofilter, Bell contributes 5 cents to mental health initiatives. The whole point is to overcome the stigma that is attached to mental health.
I thought today would be a good day to talk about mental health, being that literally all of Canada is talking about it. We ALL have someone in our lives that is affected by their mental health. You may not know that these people are hurting, but I guarantee you that someone in your immediate circle of contact is struggling with a mental illness, with depression, with a constant inner battle that they are too afraid to speak up about.
Well today, I’m going to speak up about my inner battle. I never really struggled with my mental health until a couple years ago. When I woke up from being sedated for a couple days and was told about my new diagnosis, my world was shattered. I remember at one point, the doctor coming into my room and saying “Every time I come in your room, you look so sad.” REALLY!!? You mean people lose major organs, are told their lives will be forever changed, and come out of this smiling a week later? They sent in a social worker to come see me once. That was it. I needed someone to come talk to me and help me sort out what had just happened.
We need to talk about mental health and how our health care system is seriously lacking in this area! We need counsellors, social workers, and psychiatrists to seriously be following people who have been diagnosed with detrimental illnesses, who’ve been in major accidents, who’ve had medical emergencies that have changed their lives overnight. We need a system that will care when someone comes into the emergency room saying that they’ll harm themselves if they go home. We need a health care system that will treat mental health as seriously as they treat our physical health.
Real talk – the last (almost) two years I have struggled with depression. I’ve said this before, and it’ll be something I’m sure I’ll say for a long time, but I really miss my old life. It’s hard to not compare what my life is like now to what it used to be. It’s easy for me to paste a smile on my face and pretend like I’m doing ok emotionally, but to be honest, most days I’m not. I honestly don’t even know how to put into words how I struggle with this every day. But just know, that when I say that I’m struggling with depression, it’s not just me being sad or feeling sorry for myself, but these dark moments are affecting every aspect of my life. I have finally decided to talk to my doctors about it. I realized that there is no shame in struggling with depression and that taking care of my mental health will only help me take even better care of my physical health.
So there it is. Out for the world to know. I think I’ve only mentioned this struggle with a handful of people. But I’m hoping that in being honest with all of you, that if you’re also struggling with your mental health, whatever form that may take on, that you’ll also talk to someone. Message me, even if we don’t know each other. Talk to your doctor. Call 911 or your local Suicide Prevention Hotline. Call a friend. No one will you think you are any worse because you’re struggling with this. Just please get help.