“You need to get thicker skin” That one little phrase can really mess your day up. If someone is upset that is okay, no-one has the right to make you feel bad for feeling upset. I’ve always been someone who is sensitive and well ever since my depression and anxiety kicked in it has been considerably worse. I get that the world isn’t sugarcoated and full of rainbows and that is perfectly fine but what is not fine is having a go at someone when they have the right to be upset. You have the right not to be okay when you need that time.
We’re currently in a society which loves to use phrases such as ‘perk up’ ‘You just have to deal with it’ ‘what do you even have to be depressed about?’ and my personal favourite ‘you’re strong, you’ll be fine’. Okay so first off let’s start with the fact that mental illness is NOT a choice. Trust me if I was able to choose anything I’d quite like longer hair and the ability to contour properly but hey sometimes we don’t get a choice.
‘You’re strong you’ll be fine’ so this phrase literally makes me want to cover my face and scream. I consider myself strong physically sometimes especially when I’m at the gym with my hair in a bun ready to squat. However I also consider myself equally not strong physically or mentally at times. There are times where I have to stick on a brave face, pretend I’m coping and just get on with life until I get back to my room. I can feel weak and helpless at times even when I don’t have the time to be feeling like this, again another lovely effect of mental illness you don’t get to choose when or where it happens.
It’s only recently I’ve learnt that it is okay not to be okay. I’m allowed to have days where maybe the only thing I do is get up, washed and put on a fresh pair of PJs because that’s all I can face doing. Some days can be great and I live for those days and then you have those other days which I used too call fog days when I was little. These are the days where everything can hit either all at once, or during the middle of the day or even when you are having a laugh and a joke with your family/friends.
The one thing I have learnt to help me at these times is to be resilient and it is harder than it sounds. Some days I can be quite good at it, other days it goes out the window completely but I gave it a shot so it counts. For me going to the gym helps a lot, exercise = endorphins. I love being able to stick my headphones in and zone out of the world for an hour. I feel relaxed when I leave and can face the day again. Sometimes I just take a step back from everything and try to focus on having me time, this can be reading a book or taking my dog for a walk or even just having a chat about anything with my bestie. I’m not completely there yet and I don’t think at the moment or anytime soon I will be but as long as I keep trying and becoming stronger with it that’s all that matters.
“Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt, you fall. But you keep going”
I love this quote and well it explains the steps I’m currently on loop with and that many other people are too. Remember be kind to yourself, it’s okay not to be okay and just take it one step at a time.