Have you done a mental health check-in lately? In light of the news of Kate Spade’s, and now Anthony Bourdain’s suicides this week, I’d like to encourage you to check in with yourself. How are you doing? Do you need a self-care day? Someone to talk to? Help? A change?
People with chronic illness tend to struggle with depression and other mental health issues more than those who don't have health issues, and I'd like to encourage you to check-in with yourself today. There is a stigma surrounding mental health, but as this is something that affects our community I'd like to share my story with you in an effort to help normalize conversations around mental health.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety on top of my other health issues for over half of my life and know how important it is to check-in my myself, and to do it often. One thing I struggled with in particular, was that I used to tell myself lies like “no one cares/understands,” “they’re too busy,” “no one wants to hear me ‘complain,’”- and it was very damaging. But I put in the work and I discovered that it was important for me to find the right people to talk to- some people are wrapped up in themselves, and not everyone is a good/willing/empathetic listener- and that was a big eye-opener for me. I found out that there were some people in my life who were toxic and I cut those people out or, if that wasn't an option, I choose to spend as little time with them as possible, and am happier for it.
Chronic illness by itself is a lot to handle, and mental illness on top of that can be overwhelming. While friends are great, sometimes you need a little more than that- and that's okay! I personally have gone to therapy on three separate occasions, for a few months each time, to get me through tough times when I didn’t feel like I had enough of a support system or people who would understand. Even just going once to get some things off your chest can help. I know therapy is expensive, especially without insurance, but there are so many options now! Text therapy apps, churches and community centers have support groups and often professionals to talk to as well. Online communities are great options too.
If you don’t feel comfortable with sharing with others, or feel like those aren't options that would work for you, I still encourage you to check-in with yourself often. Engaging in reflection, practicing self-care for the mind, body, and spirit, and processing your emotions in a healthy way is so important.
Please take some time today to take care of yourself or ask for help if you’re struggling- YOU MATTER and deserve to live your best life, you don’t have to struggle alone! Mental illness affects 1 in 4- you are not alone and there are a lot of resources that can help you, and the internet makes them more accessible and easier to take advantage of than ever!
If you feel like you need to talk to someone, do it knowing you aren't the only one who needed someone to talk to today. If you need to journal, meditate, take a break or a long bubble bath- know you're not the only one; there are a lot of people who understand that life can be hard, and that taking steps to take care of yourself is crucial for your well-being.
We're all in this together, if you have any favorite self-help practices feel free to share them with us!
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
- Heather, Fabulous Fibro-Fighter and FSC Founder